Published on January 3rd, 2022 | by TLV News


Will The State Of Mississippi Legalize Online Gambling?

Mississippi Unlikely To Legalize Online Gambling Any Time Soon 

In the summer of 2018, Mississippi became the fourth state to officially legalize sports betting.

Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey were the first three states that legalized it. 

Mississippi legalized it soon after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 — which prohibited sports betting in most American states — violated the country’s Tenth Amendment. 

The ruling from the Supreme Court gave every state the freedom to legalize sports betting.

The state, however, only allows in-person betting. 

Unlike Mississippi, Illinois sports betting, for instance, includes the freedom of both mobile and in-person sports gambling. Illinois first legalized betting in 2020, allowing its citizens to bet on pro teams like the Blackhawks, White Sox, Cubs, Bears and Bulls — all franchises that are based in Chicago.

Earlier this year, Senate Bill 2396 was introduced to the Mississippi Legislature. This bill would have legalized both mobile and online betting, but it never went through.

Another bill that didn’t go through, House Bill 1042, would have allowed mobile gambling across the state of Mississippi.

The betting laws are clear in Mississippi. In-person bets can only take place at licensed casinos. 

Never say never, but recent history suggests that the legalization of online and mobile gambling in Mississippi isn’t going to happen any time soon. Like several other states, it could be a few years until Mississippi grants more general freedom in the online and mobile gambling industries.

As reported by WLOX back in November, officials in Mississippi are working towards the creation of mobile sports betting. The House Gaming Committee has been working on such a bill.

“When we pass mobile sports betting, we’ll do it the right way,” House Gaming Committee chair Casey Eure said, per WLOX, adding that he expects to have the bill ready by the new year.

“My plans are to pass something out of my committee,” he said.  If the House and Senate pass a mobile sports betting app bill and Gov. Tate Reeves signs it, the Mississippi Gaming Commission can then include online wagering in its regulations.”

Mississippi Doesn’t Have A “Big Four” Sports Team

The state of Mississippi doesn’t have a team that plays in either of the “Big Four” professional sports leagues — the NFL, NHL, NBA, or MLB.

With no professional sports teams, it’s tough for the state of Mississippi to compete with other states that permit some form of sports betting like Colorado and Nevada. 

Colorado has the Denver Nuggets, Denver Broncos, Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rockies. Nevada was granted the NHL’s 31st franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights, for the 2017-18 season. Three years later, the Oakland Raiders relocated to Sin City in the brand new Allegiant Stadium.

As noted above, the state of Illinois permits in-person betting. According to the Illinois State Gaming Board (h/t Amanda Vinicky of WTTW),  the state made over $1 billion in revenue from January to October when it came to casinos, sports gambling, and video games.

The state of Nevada, of course, is far and away from the golden standard of bringing in money for sports betting. Nevada-based casinos are garnering over $1 billion in revenue per month.

Unfortunately for Mississippi and its many sports fans, the state isn’t about to get a professional sports team. There isn’t any legitimate talk about the NHL, MLB, NFL, or NBA possibly relocating a team to Mississippi, nor adding a team in the state via expansion.

Mississippi just isn’t going to compete with gambling revenue powerhouse states like Illinois and Nevada, who each carry multiple big market pro sports franchises.

Mississippi Sportsbooks & Locations

There are more than a dozen licensed sportsbooks with locations in the state of Mississippi.

The licensed sportsbooks are Ameristar Casino, Beau Rivage, Boomtown Casino, Casino Gold Strike, Sam’s Town, Grand Sierra, Diamond Jacks, Scarlet Pearl, Silver Slipper, Silver Star, Tunica Roadhouse, IP Casino, Palace Casino, Lady Luck, Isle of Capri, Island View, Riverwalk Casino, Golden Nugget, Golden Moon, Magnolia Bluffs, Treasure Bay, and Hollywood Casino.

For the locations of the Beau Rivage Resort, Sam’s Town, and the Gold Strike Casino, playMGM serves as the partner brand. 

The Gambling Landscape in Mississippi and Other American States: An Overview

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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