Mississippi made a move to legalize sports betting in 2017, but the state had to wait for the federal government to act. When the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban in 2018, Mississippi passed a law to allow sports betting that same year.
Despite being one of the first states to launch sports betting, the market in Mississippi is still relatively small compared to other states. Restrictions made on betting options are a big reason, but the state also isn’t known for its sports.
There is some room to grow and expand Mississippi sports betting, but it will require a new law to be passed.
Retail Sports Betting Locations in Mississippi
Retail sports betting is the top betting option in Mississippi, and that is because mobile betting is very restricted. Retail betting in the state isn’t exactly wide open either, as Mississippi requires all gambling to be done on water or a riverboat.
These riverboat casinos were all eligible to apply for a retail sports betting license, and they could form a partnership with a sports betting operator to get the industry up and running. There are close to 30 different retail sportsbooks in the state, and William Hill provides sports betting for nearly half of them.
Online Sportsbooks in Mississippi
Even though Mississippi does have online or mobile betting, those rules don’t look like other states with this betting option. State law requires all online sports betting to be done on-site at one of the retail sportsbook locations.
Lawmakers in the state of Mississippi attempted to change this rule in February 2021, but a bill was unable to get enough support to be pushed through. The casino industry in the state is not willing to give up on revenue, and they prefer to keep all of the betting inside of the casinos.
Popular Teams in Mississippi
Mississippi is not home to any major professional sports teams, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some popular teams in the state. There are plenty of popular professional teams in that part of the country, and those teams help drive sports betting in the state.
Betting on the NFL is extremely popular throughout the US, and that has been the case in Mississippi as well. When it comes to the NFL, the New Orleans Saints have a massive following in the state.
There are several popular NBA teams in the state of Mississippi, and betting on basketball is another sport that helps drive betting. Professional hockey and Major League Baseball are not as popular in this part of the country, but there are still betting options offered by Mississippi sportsbooks.
One thing that lawmakers in Mississippi did get right is that betting on college sporting events is allowed in the state. Of course, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are the two most popular teams in the state, especially when it comes to football and basketball.
Mississippi is also right in the heart of SEC country, and this conference is one of the best in the country. The state might be without a professional team, but SEC teams make up for the gap.