For many years, the state of Mississippi had the third-largest gambling market in the States. Then, in 2005, disaster struck as Hurricane Katrina decimated many states. Mississippi was one of the states affected.
The hurricane destroyed a large number of Mississippi Casinos and many other casinos in other states. The gambling industry at large suffered a great deal as a result. The state faced a huge challenge in rebuilding its casino industry but it paid off, and today, Mississippi casinos are better than ever.
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History of gambling in Mississippi
Mississippi casinos have been around for a very long time, especially up and down the Mississippi river. Interestingly enough, the first legal Mississippi casino didn’t open until mid-1992. The state required all casinos essentially to be on the water, so casinos were run on river boats.
This changed the state forever, and it didn’t take long for the number of riverboat casinos to increase dramatically. This allowed areas of Mississippi that were struggling financially and on the verge of economic collapse to become very popular and start making money.
Things would change once again in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit the state and devastated the gambling industry. This disaster forced the state to rethink the gambling industry, change some laws, and rebuild its Mississippi casino industry.
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Casinos in Mississippi
The casino industry in Mississippi looks vastly different today when compared to 2005. There are now around 35 Mississippi casinos, including the three Native American casinos. Before Hurricane Katrina, land-based casinos weren’t allowed and all private casinos had to be run from a boat. The hurricane was a wake-up call, and the government quickly moved to change the law.
These changes would allow for traditional land-based Mississippi casinos to be built. They are even permitted to be up to 800ft away from the water. All of this has come together to help get the casino industry back on its feet and serving gamblers once again.
Online Gambling in Mississippi
When Katrina devastated Mississippi casinos, many gamblers immediately turned to casino sites. Since then, there have been many people pushing for the state to run a casino site and poker rooms. This was brought forward in 2012 and again in 2013, however, both times it lacked the support needed for the bill to make it to the floor of the house.
The state continues to be busy focusing on rebuilding and improving its land-based casinos. Until it gives casino websites proper attention, gamblers from Mississippi can enjoy hundreds of casinos available to them.
Mississippi Gambling Laws
The state of Mississippi officially legalized gambling in 1990, and all Mississippi casinos are regulated by the Mississippi Gaming Commission. The commission is taxed, and the revenue collected from taxes are used to fund state programs in various sectors like health care, housing, transportation and education.
Familiarising oneself with the gambling laws that preside in your state can be mundane, but it’s important that you do so. When you are in the know the chances of trespassing the law becomes less likely. Fortunately, Mississippi gambling laws are not too complicated. We’ve summarised the basics for you below.
- Horse Race Gambling – Betting on horse races in Mississippi or elsewhere is prohibited by the state. The only exception is when you make such bets on a legitimate cruise ship casino.
- Dog Racing/ Off Track Gambling – The gambling act that governs the state makes no specific reference to dog racing. But, there are currently no dog racetracks in the region. Dogfighting, on the other hand, is condemned by the Mississippi Criminal Code.
- Casinos – There are many regulated casinos in Mississippi but only in areas where voters approved them. Casinos in Mississippi are actual cruise vessels that are allowed on the Mississippi River or other waters in any other area bordering the river.
- Permitted and Banned Gambling Activities – The state of Mississippi allows bingo games for charity purposes, but forbids many other types of gambling like raffles, gaming tables and stickball.
Mississippi Casinos – Going Forward
While the hope for a state-sanctioned gambling sites may be small for the time being, the gambling industry is strong and better in many ways. Now that casinos can be run on land, they’re bigger and better than ever. Many gamblers were also forced to try casino sites and have never looked back since.
Gambling in Mississippi FAQs
Unfortunately, not, Mississippi and five other states are the only states that do not have lotteries.
You have to be at least 21 years old to gamble in a casino and 18 years old to participate in charity gambling.
Mississippi casinos offer all of the popular casino games that players love. This includes poker variants, slots, roulette, baccarat and craps amongst others.