Sports betting has unique rules in Mississippi

Published 11:13 am Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Sports betting has unique rules in Mississippi
By Sid Salter

The nation’s commercial gaming industry achieved record-breaking revenue for the third
consecutive year in 2023 with 10.3% year-over-year growth – but revenue in Mississippi
was down 3.5% or $91.28 million according to the American Game Association’s State
of the States 2024 report.
The AGA report documented Mississippi’s 29 casinos (including those of the Mississippi
Band of Choctaw Indians in Philadelphia and Bok Homa) that the report says generate
$6.54 billion in economic impact, 41,950 total jobs, $867.7 million in tax impact and
tribal revenue share on gross gaming revenues of $2.48 billion.
National, the growth of traditional gaming revenues has flattened while the real growth
has occurred in internet gaming (up 26%) and sports betting (up 22%).
According to the gaming industry publication Legal Sports Report: “Mississippi sports
betting is legal and live at casinos in the state. The state has many retail sportsbooks in
operation but just three sportsbook apps. Online sports betting in Mississippi is limited
to users located on a licensed casino’s premises.
“You can download a sportsbook app from anywhere in the state, but you must be at a
casino to place any wagers. Several Mississippi casinos have deals with sportsbooks
like FanDuel, BetMGM and Caesars. However, only BetMGM, Caesars, and Pearl River
Resort have launched sports betting apps in the state.”
Sports betting in casinos or racetracks is legal in 38 states. In 27 states, state
governments have authorized online sports betting emanating from a computer or
mobile device located anywhere in those states – not just on casino or racetrack
In Mississippi, sports betting on casino premises has been legal since 2018. But off-site
online sports betting from computers and smart devices remains illegal in Mississippi.
Lawmakers just this year had a sports betting bill – House Bill 774 sponsored by Rep.
Casey Eure– die on deadline in conference committee.
House and Senate conferees, like the members in the respective chambers they
represent, could again not get on the same page on the issue. The influence of the
existing traditional casinos is clear as the fear of competition from online gaming is

Since the inception of casino gaming in Mississippi, the brick-and-mortar casinos have
wielded lobbying power in the Legislature – as they have in every state where they
operate. Given the outcome on HB 774, it’s clear they still do.
COVID helped usher in technology-driven changes in how Mississippians shop, meet,
and work. Is it so surprising that those same Mississippi consumers, want to do their
gambling online as well?
Mississippi’s leap into the state lottery business dropped the checkered flag to our
regional neighbors in terms of gaming competition. Online gaming customers have too
many paths to providers for our state to think the online sportsbook operators won’t find
them on the internet.
Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at

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