Mississippi joined the sports betting industry in 2018, and the state has seen some success over the last few years. Most people don’t associate sports with Mississippi, but sports betting is up and running.
More than 30 different casinos are located throughout the state, and a number of these properties are on the water. Casinos may offer sports betting. Almost all of them have a sportsbook.
A limited mobile betting industry has kept the state from really taking off, but that could change at some point in the near future. Currently, mobile betting is only permitted on a casino’s property. Otherwise, all bets must be made at a kiosk or teller window. Lawmakers are hoping that, eventually, mobile betting will be available throughout the state.
Despite a lack of professional sports teams, Mississippi sports bettors have plenty to bet on. There are some big-name operators in the state that have already launched, and a few more will likely be on the way soon.
The History Behind Legal Sports Betting in Mississippi
Mississippi has a large gaming industry, and that dates back to 1989. That year, lawmakers were able to pass a bill that legalized gambling aboard cruise ships as long as those boats were traveling into international waters.
In 1993, the Mississippi Gaming Commission took control of the gaming industry and started to regulate betting throughout the state. This came just three years after the state passed a law allowing casinos to open up on land, as long as they were attached to a dock.
There have been more than 30 casinos built throughout the state of Mississippi, and several of these properties have now moved inland. In 2017, these properties, along with lawmakers, started to consider the possibility of legalizing sports betting.
Mississippi was one of the states that legalized sports betting before 2018 when the United States Supreme Court finally lifted the federal ban. That allowed for casinos to be ready to offer sports betting in early 2018.
The first legal sports bet in the state of Mississippi was placed in August 2018, officially launching the industry. According to state law, all of the betting must be done at a land-based casino currently open in the state.
Each casino may apply for a sports betting license. Casinos can also partner with a sports betting operator. Several commercial casinos have done that, while some tribal casinos have decided to offer betting on their own.
Mobile betting is currently permitted. However, all wagers must be placed on the premises of a retail location. Lawmakers attempted to change this in 2020, but a bill died shortly after being introduced.
Financial History Behind Legal Sports Betting in MS
Mississippi might be leaving some money on the table by not yet legalizing mobile betting, but the state has still done extremely well. The industry continues to grow, and the state is closing in on more than $800 million in total betting handle.
The first month of sports betting in Mississippi brought in more than $6.2 million in total betting handle and almost $650,000 in total revenue. That was a solid start for the first month, but those numbers jumped quickly.
From September 2018 to February 2019, the state saw at least $25 million in total betting handle, and then things started to drop off during the spring and summer months.
November 2019 was the biggest month in the history of the sports betting industry in Mississippi. The state had a total handle of more than $56.3 million, and that record has still not been touched to date.
The COVID-19 pandemic shut down the industry during the spring and summer of 2020, but the numbers have started to get back on track. September 2020 saw a betting handle of more than $52.2 million.
If Mississippi is going to compete with some of the other states in the industry, it will require the legalization and launch of mobile sports betting. In most states, at least 90 percent of sports betting handle comes from apps.
Sportsbook Apps in Mississippi
At this time, the online sports betting industry in Mississippi is extremely limited and almost nonexistent. Online wagering is available in the state, but all of the bets have to be made on the premises of a land-based casino.
This means that casinos or sports betting operators can offer a mobile betting app, but it wouldn’t do a ton of good. Most bettors will just head inside the casino if they wish to place a bet, rather than use their mobile device.
Operators such as Caesars and DraftKings feature a top-rated mobile app in other states, but that has yet to happen in Mississippi. Those companies will quickly launch a mobile app if this part of the industry becomes available.
PRR Sports has launched a mobile app at its various locations throughout Mississippi. It can be downloaded anywhere in the state. Location services confirm a bettor is on the casino property.
The sports betting industry in Mississippi is leaving money on the table by not yet legalizing mobile sports betting, but it is likely coming soon.
Retail Locations to Bet on Sports in Mississippi
State laws in Mississippi require all betting or gambling to be done at licensed locations. Mississippi has a large gaming industry, and a majority of these locations were quick to launch sports betting on-site.
Land-based casinos were given the option to partner with a sports betting operator, and a number of the bigger casinos did just that. Other properties have started offering sports betting on their own, but that has severely limited the amount of revenue.
Mississippi has been able to attract some of the biggest names in the sports betting industry, and there is still a chance for some growth in the coming months. FanDuel Sportsbook has yet to launch, and the state is hopeful that they will eventually look to launch.
Here is a list of the current retail sports betting locations in Mississippi, with its sports betting operators included in parentheses.
- 1st Jackpot (ESPN Bet)
- Ameristar (ESPN Bet)
- Bally’s Vicksburg (Bally Bet)
- Beau Rivage (BetMGM)
- Boomtown Casino (ESPN Bet)
- Fitz (Foundation)
- Gold Strike (BetMGM)
- Golden Moon (PRR Sports)
- Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget)
- Harrah’s Gulf Coast (Caesars)
- Hard Rock Casino (Bally Bet)
- Hollywood Casino Bay St. Louis (ESPN Bet)
- Hollywood Casino Tunica (ESPN Bet)
- Horseshoe Tunica (Caesars)
- Isle of Capri (Caesars)
- IP Casino (FanDuel)
- Island View (GAN)
- Magnolia Bluffs (Playmakers)
- Palace Casino (IGT)
- Riverwalk (BetAmerica)
- Sam’s Town (FanDuel)
- Scarlet Pearl (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Silver Slipper (IGT)
- Silver Star (PRR Sports)
- Treasure Bay (IGT)
Sports Teams to Bet on in Mississippi
The state of Mississippi is home to a pair of professional ice hockey teams, but none of those teams are in the National Hockey League. Mississippi does not have any professional teams in the four major sports, limiting the industry.
Lawmakers in Mississippi were smart to allow for the betting on college athletic events to provide some solid revenue sources for the industry. The state has some popular collegiate teams, and these teams bring in many wagers. There are no restrictions on college betting in Mississippi. Bets may be made on in-school teams like Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Southern Miss, as well as on NCAA props.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Ole Miss Rebels are two of the most popular collegiate teams. Both teams compete in the SEC, and football is king throughout the state.
Outside of these two schools, betting on the entire SEC is popular and featured in all local sportsbooks. Football is the most important and popular sport, but college basketball season also brings a huge boost.
Even though the state doesn’t have any professional teams of its own, there are plenty of popular teams in that part of the country. The New Orleans Saints have a huge fan base in Mississippi, and this is one of the most popular teams to bet on.
There are plenty of other teams to cheer for in Mississippi, and it depends on the season as to which teams the sportsbook focuses on. Despite not having any major professional teams in the state, Mississippi is off to a great start in the industry.
FAQ for betting in Mississippi
When did sports betting become legalized in Mississippi?
In 2017, lawmakers in Mississippi repealed a law that outlawed sports betting. However, the industry could not launch until the US Supreme Court decision in Spring 2018.
When did the sports betting industry launch?
Legal sports betting began in 2018 in Mississippi after the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban. Licenses had already been issued before this decision, and land-based locations could offer betting quickly.
What is the legal betting age in the state?
The legal age to place a sports bet in the state of Mississippi is 21 years of age.
What group regulates sports betting in Mississippi?
The Mississippi Gaming Commission regulates the sports betting industry in the state.
Can I place a wager on my mobile device?
Technically, yes, but only if you are on the property of a land-based location. Location services must be enabled to ensure that you are on the property. Otherwise, all Mississippi bets must be made at a casino kiosk or sportsbook.
Can I bet on college sporting events in Mississippi?
Yes, Mississippi is not home to any professional sports teams in any of the four major sports, and college athletic events drive the industry. Throughout the country, several states prohibit wagering on college sporting events, but that is not the case in Mississippi.
Do I have to be a resident of the state to bet?
No, as long as you are physically at one of the retail sports betting locations in Mississippi, then you can place a bet.
Is sports betting safe in Mississippi?
Absolutely. The Mississippi Gaming Commission regulates the sports betting industry, which means it is extremely safe. All of the land-based locations in the state have to hold a valid license before they are allowed to take any bets.