Although Lacking Mobile Options, Mississippi Sports Betting Adding to State’s Gaming History

Although Lacking Mobile Options, Mississippi Sports Betting Adding to State’s Gaming History
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Mississippi was one of the first states to legalize sports betting, launching its first sportsbook in August 2018, just three months after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

Since then, Mississippi has welcomed sports bettors from all around, with over 20 land-and water-based sportsbooks at its commercial and tribal casinos. 

However, neighboring states like Tennessee, Louisiana and Arkansas have caught up to the Magnolia State, with each giving the consumer a mobile sports betting option, something Mississippi has failed to do despite legislation supporting it in recent years. 

Mobile Mississippi sports betting is permitted, but only if you’re in person and using the BetMGM mobile app at either the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi or the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica.

Mississippi’s Gambling Timeline

Here’s how Mississippi got to this point:

June 29, 1990

Gambling is legalized in Mississippi when the House passed the Mississippi Gaming Control Act, which founded the Mississippi Gaming Commission. There are now 26 state-regulated casinos in Mississippi, with a dozen located along the Gulf Coast.

December 5, 1990

Hancock County becomes the state’s first county to permit “dockside gambling,” according to WDAM7 News.

August 1, 1992

Mississippi’s first water-based casino, The Isle of Capri, opens its doors for the first time. Shortly after, two other riverboat casinos, the President Casino and Biloxi Belle, open their doors.

October 1992

The first regulated bingo hall opens in Mississippi.


The state signs a compact with Choctaw Indians of Mississippi.


The first tribal casino opens in Mississippi, the Silver Star Hotel and Casino in Neshoba County.


The Choctaw Indians of Mississippi open the Pearl River Resort, which includes the Golden Moon Hotel and Casino, in Choctaw, Mississippi. Nine years later, the tribe opens the Bok Homa Casino in Heidelberg.


Mississippi legalizes online daily fantasy sports on a temporary basis, with the law expiring in July 2017.


Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant made daily fantasy sports permanently legal with the passing of HB 967, which sets an 8% tax and tasks the Mississippi Gaming Commission to regulate, according to the Associated Press.

May 14, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court rules, 6-3, to eliminate a 1992 Federal Law (PASPA) that banned sports gambling in the majority of states. States now can decide for themselves whether they will legalize sports betting or not.

Aug. 1, 2018

Mississippi officially legalizes sports betting, becoming the fourth state to do so (after Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware) and first in the Deep South. Beau Rivage and Gold Strike accept the state’s first bets simultaneously, per The Sun Herald, 26 years after the first bet was made at a Mississippi casino in 1992.


Mississippi casinos report a gross revenue of $1.8 billion, according to the Mississippi Gaming Commission.


Multiple bills to legalize online sports betting in Mississippi die in committee. Introduced in January, none of the bills make it to a vote. Mississippi remains a brick-and-mortar only state, with mobile sports wagering only offered inside two of the state’s casinos.



Shelby Dermer is a report & journalist for Shelby has been a sports reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer for the last five years and now lends his expertise to the Mississippi sports betting market. He grew up in Waynesville, Ohio, and graduated from Ohio University.