Featured in this article:
  • All bills that would have regulated mobile wagering in Mississippi have failed in committee.
  • Mississippi casinos can offer mobile sportsbooks but only when bettors are on casino grounds.
  • Neighboring states are opening up to mobile wagering while Mississippi delays.

3 Minute Read

FILE - Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral (2) passes against Mississippi State during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Starkville, Miss. The Southeastern Conference's most prolific offense clashes with one of the better defenses in the Big 12 when No. 8 Mississippi meets sixth-ranked Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Mobile Mississippi sports betting will not be regulated for at least another year. Despite a concerted effort amongst lawmakers, no one online sportsbook bill had enough support to advance beyond legislative committees.

Mississippi already features in-person retail sportsbooks at its numerous casinos. But though neighboring states have adopted mobile wagering, Mississippi will now risk falling behind the gambling tides.

Mississippi Sports Betting Limited to Casinos

It is not entirely accurate to say you cannot wager on sports with a mobile device in Mississippi. However, to place a bet with your phone, you need to be on-site at either the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi or the Gold Strike Resort and Casino in Tunica.

Gold Strike Casino Tunica, Mississippi

Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi allows mobile betting, but only if you’re on casino grounds. (AP Photo/Nikki Boertman)

Both properties are managed by MGM Resorts and allow players to use the MGM mobile app. But it is geofenced to hotel, casino, and resort grounds. As soon as you leave the casino property, you can no longer place a bet.

The state’s other 24 casinos do not allow mobile wagering, even on casino property. And, according to Jay McDaniel, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, that will not be changing anytime soon. There currently are not any requests to allow on-property mobile wagering from any of Mississippi’s other casinos.

Online Sportsbook Legislation Fails in Committee

Executive Director McDaniel sounded resigned to the fact that the Gaming Commission will not be allowed to authorize statewide mobile betting in 2022. “All mobile sports betting bills that were sponsored this session have died,” McDaniel stated in an interview this week.

That would include House Bill 184, introduced by state Representative Cedric Burnett. His plan would have allowed any Mississippi casino with an already regulated in-person sportsbook to expand into mobile wagering.

Representative Burnett’s colleague, state Representative Casey Eure believes protecting Mississippi’s robust brick-and-mortar casino industry takes precedence over a wide-open mobile wagering market. However, the state risks falling behind its neighbors, as more and more states allow mobile betting.

Next week, the first Arkansas mobile sportsbook will go live. Residents of Memphis, Tennessee, the closest metropolitan city to Mississippi’s cluster of casinos in Tunica, they will now have three options: bet on their phones using approved Tennessee mobile sportsbooks, drive to Arkansas to find potentially better odds through its mobile sportsbooks, or head to Tunica for an in-person wagering experience.

Likewise, Biloxi casinos draw a large number of patrons from nearby New Orleans. But Louisiana now allows mobile wagering, lessening the demand for Biloxi’s sportsbooks. Protecting brick-and-mortar casinos in Mississippi from competition might end up dooming them to irrelevance.

Dave Consolazio

Dave Consolazio has been passionate about writing and sports journalism since his high school years. He has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC where he worked with the school's radio and television stations. His work has been featured in SportsbookReview, Sports Illustrated and SB Nation. Dave's experience ranges across multiple fields in the gambling industry. You can find his sports, casino, and poker articles in GambleOnline.co.

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