Land Based Gambling
Mississippi is a very conservative state where change takes a long time and residents enjoy a more old-fashioned way of life. While riverboat casinos were popular in the 1800s, The Great Depression took its toll and the industry never really recovered.
There is no pari-mutuel betting on horses or provision for social gambling in private either, and this ensures that legal gambling only takes place in licensed establishments.
This wasn’t always the case though. Lotteries and horse racing were rife in the 1700s before Mississippi became a state. At one time there were also hundreds of riverboat casinos floating up and down the river which were visited by many over and over again. The glamour, together with the chance to play a wide range of casino games held a great deal of appeal and provided a profitable business for many casino owners.
Hurricane Katrina also changed the landscape of these casino boats and, as a result, many continue to operate while docked. The hurricane picked up entire casinos located in the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and sent them crashing onto the shore, thereby damaging them so severely, that recovery wasn’t possible.
While larger casinos with deeper pockets were able to rebuild in a manner of speaking, the riverboat market is still trying to find its feet again.
Despite all these challenges, gambling in the state is centuries-old since, before the time of the colonists, Native American tribes played games of chance. One of the more popular games enjoyed within the tribes was Ishtaboli which means ‘the little brother of war’.
A cross between football and lacrosse without any padding, the game offered opportunities for betting and excitement on the reservations. Like the sports betting of today, gamblers would bet on the outcome of the game and sometimes included the forfeiture of all the player's possessions.
With charitable bingo and pull tabs that offer the lottery experience, there are a few gambling options available outside of casinos, particularly for people who have not reached their majority.
While the minimum age required to access the gaming floor is 21, individuals who have celebrated their 18th birthday can enjoy games of chance in exchange for prizes.