Mississippi was one of the few states that were quick to act when the Supreme Court decided in Murphy v. NCAA that it was unlawful to impose a sports betting prohibition on states. The essence of the case was that regulating sports betting was now up to each state individually.
Online sports betting
Mississippi removed a clause from the Mississippi Gaming Control Act when it became clear that the state prohibition was no longer standing. Thus far, only in-person betting on sports is allowed, there is no regulation yet on mobile sports betting. Ever since Mississippi changed their laws, there are now 10 casinos that offer sports betting in the state.
Mississippi sports betting history
Mississippi is actually one of the few states that have quite a history when it comes to gambling. They’ve had a reputation and a culture of being more accepting to several forms of gambling. It goes back to the simplest of card games when the early settlers came to America. Other than that, there were horse races and other sports that people would wager on. Taking into consideration their geographic location along the Mississippi River, they happen to be in an excellent spot to develop as a hub for entertainment, from music to food, sports, and gambling. Many of the casinos have been around for ages, all of which were frequented by famous singers like Elvis.
Gambling control act
With any hub, whether that’s for music or entertainment or gambling, at some stage you need to have some formal regulation in place. For a long time, all these matters went unregulated in Mississippi but that changed in 1990 when Mississippi finalized the Gambling control act. It, in particular, opened the way for Mississippi to come up with so-called riverboat casinos, which have become quite the attraction. Gambling has proven to be quite an area of development in Mississippi and it thrived until Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Many of the coastal properties were severely damaged and thus a new law prohibited owners from rebuilding casinos in the same spot. To prevent any future casualties, casinos in Mississippi now have to be onshore.
Sports betting timeline
The developments when it comes to sports betting regulation happened as follows.
In preparation of the possible legalization of sports betting, Mississippi started its research a few years ahead of time. In a study focused on fact-finding, they researched existing gambling laws in other sports in order to anticipate the possible effects of regulation and the best ways to regulate it.
In 2017, Mississippi created a law to officially legalize daily fantasy sports. Prior that, there was no such thing. They legalized it by subtly modifying an existing law. There was a provision that explicitly mentioned sports betting to be prohibited by referring to wagering on athletic events. They removed that part, thereby also indirectly allowing sports betting.
This is when sports betting became officially legalized on a federal level, therefore opening the way entirely. Because Mississippi had already anticipated the change, they didn’t need much time to come forward with the new regulation. It took a 30 day review period for the regulations to officially be running.