History & Gambling Laws In Mississippi
Native American history shows that gambling was popular among Native American tribes too. Horse racing is one of the first competitive sports, apart from fighting, of course, where they could wager different items and stuff. Another popular gambling game among the Native Americans was Kapucha Toli, a teamplay game where the players are tossing a ball with a stick, similar to the modern sport of lacrosse.
Slowly the colonization started in the early years of the 1400s, but until the Mississippi region got colonized, there were another 100-200 years. In the 1700s, lotteries were already super popular among western countries(before the union). In the last years of that century, the first Mississippi racetrack was built. The 18th century brought an entirely new universe of entertainment for the citizens of the state.
Gambling Laws Mississippi – The Beginning
The invention of railroads and steamboats changed the new western world and delivered a more sufficient and fast way of travelling around the newly occupied territories. The river of Mississippi has always been an easy way to travel around the country. Therefore, the first steamboat casinos appeared and became a vast fashion across the Mississippi region and other neighbour states. At that time, there were no gambling laws in Mississippi, and indeed the country was not yet a state.
In 1817, Mississippi joined the union, and this was when the need for regulations appeared for the first time. Of course, no actions were taken because it was profitable for some people. A significant spike of the Mississippi population occurred in the 1830s and 40s. At that time in the state, there were plenty of hotels, bars, billiard and bowling establishments and all types of modern entertainment.
Rise & Fall of Mississippi Gambling
The history of Mississippi gambling laws started shortly after the Civil War(1861-1865). During the war itself, all casino boats were out of service, and gambling in the state was on pause. The sector suffered a lot from the conflict, and it didn’t fully recover even after the war. In the following almost 60 years, gambling was still widely available, although its interest was not that high, especially after the war.
Meanwhile, new betting opportunities like the schooner races appeared on the horizon in the 1890s. The 20th century made the world even more entertaining but also a scary place to live. With the end of the First World War came the prohibition of gambling in 1919 and the ban on alcohol in 1920 in the whole United States. This is literally the first written gambling law in Mississippi.
Shortly after the war, the great economic depression came too and shrank the purchasing power of the US society. Gambling remained illegal in all states apart from Nevada, where the city of Las Vegas began to flourish and shape its future as the world’s capital of gambling. Here is the history of Las Vegas for the most curious of you. But in general, these were hard times for American society.
US Mafia & Organized Illegal Gambling
Steamboats used for river casinos were now used mainly for transportation of people and goods across the states. Of course, smugglers of illegal alcohol used them too. Back in those days, most US gamblers were regular visitors of Cuba and the Caribbeans, where the first mesmerizing casino resorts appeared. Slot machines became super popular and available in almost every shop and bar or hotel, with pinball machines and jukeboxes, but they were all prohibited too.
No matter what changes in the Mississippi gambling laws were made, illegal gambling was still an issue for the government. With the end of the Second World War, the United States finally got out of the prolonged economic depression, and now they were flourishing. The period between 1940-1980 is known for the rise of the notorious US casino mafia from different states and their influence over the gambling business. They were the people who were running the real illegal gambling in the USA despite all restrictions.
The Birth of A New Age for Mississippi Gambling Laws
There were illegal gambling establishments hidden behind bars and restaurants, but they were raided by the police many times – in 1955, 1962, and 1975. Due to the raids, all the gambling equipment like cards, playing tables, chips and anything you can think of was burned. Other significant problems were the furious hurricanes that frequently appear in Mississippi and the damage they inflicted over the infrastructure and businesses like the steamboats mentioned above.
In 1990, senator Tommy Gollott was able to negotiate the legislation of gambling and the pass of the Mississippi Gaming Control Act. Finally, the gambling laws Mississippi allowed casino gambling. For less than a decade, more than a dozen casinos appeared in different regions of the state. Currently, there are over 30 casino establishments in Mississippi.
Timeline of Mississippi Gambling Laws & History
Under Spanish rule, the first racetrack was founded in Mississippi
The first half of the century brought many things, first the triumph of steamboat casinos, then the vast spike in the Mississippi population in the 30s.
The beginning of a dark age for the Mississippi gambling thanks to the Civil War and the recovery afterwards. Slot machines got invented in 1895 and quickly became popular
The year of the official prohibition of gambling in the USA. All states apart from Nevada declared gambling illegal.
The 1920 prohibition of alcohol was followed by the great economic depression and the Second World War.
The rise of illegal gambling and the US crime families. But still no changes in the Mississippi gambling laws.
The Mississippi Gaming Control Act was signed, and casino gambling became finally legal.
The first legal casino opened its doors.
The Mississippi Gambling Commission was assembled.
Over 30 more new casinos were built. After hurricane Katrina, a new Mississippi gambling law was passed – now casinos can be stationed only on the shoreline.
Several more grand casino resorts were built. In 2012 was the first try to introduce digital gambling to the state of Mississippi, but the idea was refused.
Daily fantasy sports legislation passes.
Everything is still the same. The state still awaits the official recognition of online gambling and online casino platforms.
Mississippi Gambling Laws In the 21st Century
After the Mississippi Gaming Control Act in 1990, many casinos opened doors in the state. Meanwhile, the gambling laws in Mississippi for other types of gambling remain illegal even today. It is weird how this is the only state where dog fights were legal in the 20th century, before the appearance of animal cruelty police. Another strange thing is that even nowadays, there is no state lottery in Mississippi. In fact, lotteries are still illegal.
The history of Mississippi gambling laws is pending another change in the nearest future, and that is the legalization of online casinos and online gambling platforms. However, the chance to get arrested if you play at an offshore operator is pretty tiny, and this is how most citizens get around the gambling restriction in the state. Well, you can try organizing any type of social gambling, but the chances to get caught are way bigger since there will be a bunch of people involved in the game.
Suppose you decide to go for an online casino. In that case, you should know which are the best online casinos in the USA, because there is some relevant information that you need to obtain before taking the final decision with which casino to go on. If you want to stay on the safe side and you are not willing to overstep the gambling laws in Mississippi, your best option is to travel to the closest casino and enjoy some free drinks. Meanwhile, keep an eye on our website for the latest news about the Mississippi online gambling laws.
Types of Gambling
Legal or Not
Online Sports Betting
History of Mississippi Gaming Commission
If you wonder which government body takes care of the licensing and legislation of new casinos, bingos or charity games, this is the Mississippi Gaming Commission. It was assembled in 1993, right after the foundations of the first official casinos in the state. The commission’s job is not only to supervise and control the business sector but also to help it in cases of floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters that have not once occurred in Mississippi. Due to the need for new Mississippi online gambling laws, we assume that soon the commission will consider bringing online casinos into the green zone.
Best Land-Based Casinos in Mississippi – Names & Locations
After you are interested in the history of Mississippi gambling laws, we assume that you might be a passionate gambler who is also looking to know which are the best casinos in the state of Mississippi. To save you some time, we sorted all 30+ casinos to the top 3 places listed below. They are all outstanding establishments, so do not underestimate them, but in the end, it’s all about personal perspective and preferences. Take a closer look at them, study their features and amenities, check their websites and then decide what is best for you.
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
875 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39530, United States
Bars, Restaurants, Events Hall, Meeting Room, Park, Pools, Spa, Golf Court
Craps, Roulette, Baccarat, Slots, Keno, 3 Card Poker, Video Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Pai Gow Tiles, Caribbean Stud Poker, Let it Ride, Mini-Baccarat, Mississippi Stud, Four Card Poker, Omaha Hi-Lo, 7 Card Stud and more
Book a Room
Hard Rock Hotel
777 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39530, United States
Restaurants, Bars, Pools, Sauna, Spa, VIP Lounge, Events Hall
Slots, 3 Card Poker,
Video Poker, Pai Gow, Mississippi Stud, Pai Gow Poker, Texas Hold ’em Poker and more
Book a Room
1021 Casino Center Dr, Tunica Resorts, MS 38664, United States
Restaurants, Bars, Golf Court, Fitness, Spa Facility, Events Hall
Slots, Blackjack, Craps,
3 Card Poker,
Caribbean Stud Poker, Let it Ride, Baccarat, 7 Card Stud and more
Book a Room
Changes in the Mississippi gambling laws are necessary if the state wants to benefit more from the usage and popularization of online casinos and US online gambling sites and apps. It is one of the six states in the US without a state lottery which is another disadvantage that must be changed in the nearest future. Due to the Covid-19 crisis and its difficulties in the hospitality sector, we believe that the Mississippi online gambling laws may soon change for the better.
Since we mentioned many details related to the gambling laws in Mississippi, we decided that you might look at how to refresh your memory. Therefore, we have gathered the most frequently asked questions about the Mississippi gambling laws and their history. Use the hyperlinks in the answers if you want to explore the subject in detail.
⚖️ What is the history of Mississippi gambling laws?
The history of gambling in Mississippi dates even before the European countries invaded North America and colonized the region of Mississippi. Native Americans had their own gambling games like the famous Kapucha Toli, which is a team game similar to our modern lacrosse, but way more primitive, of course.
❓ Is gambling legal in Mississippi?
The state has very strict rules regarding gambling, but yes, nowadays gambling is legal in Mississippi. Keep in mind that there are many limitations and types of gambling that are still banned. This is one of the six states that still doesn’t offer state lottery because lotteries are illegal.
? Is online gambling legal in Mississippi?
No, online gambling and all of its forms are illegal according to the Mississippi gambling laws. Take a look at what types of gambling are legal in Mississippi. You will be surprised to see that all types of races or social gambling are prohibited.
? How the Mississippi gambling regulator is called?
As you can probably guess the Mississippi gambling regulator is called Mississippi`s Gambling Commission. It was assembled in 1993 to become an independent agency that takes care of the gambling business sector, its licensing, control, development and everything related to it and its players.
? What was the first Mississippi gambling law in history?
The need for gambling laws in Mississippi appeared right after the country joined the union in 1817. Gambling was a profitable business, and it didn’t get regulated even after the Civil War again, thanks to the need for the state’s financial condition. The first Mississippi gambling law was the official ban of gambling in the US in 1919.