When one thinks of casinos and gambling in the United States, the state of Mississippi does not necessarily come to mind. While there are countless tales of riverboat gambling on the Mississippi River, those tales originate in the 19th century, far from the modern day. As time moved into the 20th and subsequently the 21st centuries, casinos and gambling in Mississippi disappeared almost entirely.
Fortunately, a revival of sorts has taken place in recent years. This revival has made Mississippi one of the top Southern states as far as casinos are concerned. Moving forward, we feel as though this state is going to be the model for how other Southern states are going to tackle the prospect of casino gambling and the legalization process of it all.
Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg
Bally’s Casino Tunica
Bok Homa Casino
Boomtown Casino Biloxi
Fitzgeralds Casino Tunica
Gold Strike Casino Resort
Golden Moon Casino
Golden Nugget Biloxi
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Biloxi
Harrah’s Casino Tunica
Harrah’s Gulf Coast
Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast
Hollywood Casino Tunica
Horseshoe Casino Tunica
IP Casino Resort Spa
Island View Casino
Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Lula
Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg
Magnolia Bluffs Casino
Palace Casino Biloxi
Resorts Casino Tunica
Riverwalk Casino and Hotel
Sam’s Town Tunica
Scarlet Pearl Casino
Silver Slipper Casino
Silver Star Casino
Treasure Bay Casino Biloxi
Trop Casino Greenville
Tunica Roadhouse Casino & Hotel
WaterView Casino & Hotel
A large majority of Mississippi casinos are of the riverboat variety. Though back in the 19th century a riverboat casino was, quite literally, traversing the waters of the Mississippi River, nowadays the story is changed entirely. Almost all of the riverboat casinos that exist today are docked or otherwise attached to solid ground. Even the riverboat casinos operating on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico are docked and not setting sail anytime soon.
In addition to the casino floor, many of these riverboats also host restaurants, entertainment, and so much more.
As their name implies, tribal casinos are casinos owned and operated by Native American tribes. Though, on their face, they will look and feel like traditional land-based casinos, underneath it all is a story stemming back to the 1980s. At this time, a Federal Act was passed that made it possible for Native Americans to offer casino-style gambling.
Other than the fact that they are able to exist by way of Federal Act, there is really no difference between tribal casinos and the land-based ones found all over the state.
As was mentioned previously, the history of Mississippi gambling and casinos can be traced back to the late 1700s. Back then, before Mississippi was even officially declared a state, there was a racetrack there where wagers were placed on many hundreds of races. The racetrack was put in place by French settlers, but it is clear to see that the state’s early history definitely involved gambling.
By the turn of the 19th century, riverboat gambling became the dominant gambling medium in the state. Well over 100 different riverboats were operating the waters of the Mississippi at any given time. Though there are plenty of tall tales regarding great casino cheats and plenty of other unscrupulous activity, this was clearly not too big of an issue seeing as the riverboat gambling industry thrived throughout the first half of the 19th century. Towards the end of the 1800s the Civil War brought about a somewhat abrupt halt to any and all gambling in the state.
After the Civil War and as the 1900s dawned, the state of Mississippi began to take a bit more of a restrictive stance to most forms of gambling. By the 1930s, slot games and pinball games were outlawed by state law. For the next 50 years, most forms of gambling remained outlawed. The tide began to change a bit in the 1990s thanks to the passing of the Mississippi Gaming Control Act of 1990. This Act made riverboat casinos in counties along the Mississippi River and on the coast legal so long as the local citizenry approved of them. Only 2 years after that, an agreement between the state government and Choctaw Native Americans allowed for the existence of slots and table games at the many tribal gaming halls located throughout the state. Since then, the casino landscape of Mississippi has remained somewhat the same. Though the laws surrounding the existence of casinos in the state are interesting in that they allow for only riverboat and Native American casinos, you can rest-assured knowing that there are no shortage of gambling options in just about every part of the state, but especially along the banks of the Mississippi and the Gulf Coast.