Poker Laws in Mississippi

Mississippi Poker Laws

Is Online Poker / Gambling Legal in Mississippi?

When it comes to poker, the name of the game in the state of Mississippi is regulation. Though Mississippi is one of the most politically-conservative in the USA, the state has not moved to make poker and gambling illegal – instead, the state government is trying to regulate poker play at all levels. Whether you want to play poker in your home, in a casino, or at an online poker room, all three forms of poker games are permitted within a strict set of regulations. Follow the law in Mississippi and your poker game won’t get you in legal trouble.

Home Poker Games & Mississippi Law

Though gambling is not illegal in the state, Mississippi has a very strict set of gambling laws. Home poker games, where one person hosts a group of poker players in private, are even a bit risky. According to Section 97-33-1 of the Mississippi penal code, a misdemeanor charge is possible for hosting a home game if it can be proven that he was gambling “for money or other valuable thing.” Home games using chips or other meaningless tokens instead of cash are the only legal and safe games in Mississippi.

Some poker players may be surprised to learn that a game taking place in the privacy of their own home is subject to state law. Mississippi’s legal system has not made an exception for poker in private games, so long as those games are played for profit. If the host and the players of your private game aren’t making any financial gain from it, it’s legal. Otherwise, you could face prosecution.

Mississippi Casinos & Poker

For a state with such a strong stance against private poker games, Mississippi has a very active casino industry. The state allows gambling, regulated by the state and taxed at a relatively high rate, in state-licensed casinos. Mississippi’s traditional casinos and riverboat gaming venues host poker games, casino-style poker, slots, and every table game you’d find in a Vegas casino.

Mississippi’s riverboat casinos are popular – floating down the Mississippi river, which makes up a big part of the border of Mississippi, gamblers can play poker or their favorite table game in a totally legal and regulated environment. Because the gambling-by-riverboat scene has been active for centuries, the state’s penal code has an entire section set aside to regulating how these businesses can operate. Riverboat casinos are now basically the same as Mississippi’s land-based casinos, in the eyes of the law.

Because playing in a private game is potentially dangerous, heading to one of the state’s many casinos or riverboat gambling sites is a much better option for citizens of The Magnolia State that want to play a few hands of Texas Holdem.

Online Poker Law in Mississippi

The state of Mississippi has not yet produced any legislation about the issue of gambling over the Internet. No laws about online poker, craps, or any other game have yet been written. The state is not shy about gambling laws – casino regulation has been taking place at the state level for over a hundred years. The problem is that the state hasn’t yet considered the legality of wagering on a poker game via an Internet connection. Most laws about gambling in the state are so old, they make no mention of electronic communication methods at all; when these laws were written, gambling did not yet involve even the humble telephone, so it should come as no surprise that Internet gambling laws don’t yet exist.

Depending on how the state chooses to interpret existing gambling law, the laws the state currently has in place may be used in the case of online poker. But the state hasn’t made any move to prosecute poker players who wager on the Internet, and no arrests or legal actions against Internet poker players have been reported within state lines.

Learn About Other State Laws

Online Gambling & Mississippi Law

The state known as the Birthplace of America's Music doesn’t have any state law against online gambling. With no federal law against playing poker online, Mississippians who want to play at online poker rooms don’t face prosecution.

Some Mississippi citizens may be concerned about federal law – the United States government did take some actions in 2006 to combat the spread of online gambling. A bill called the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was tacked on to the end of a can’t-fail anti-terrorism bill. But this law is focused on how banks and other financial institutions do business with known gambling websites. The UIGEA limits how Mississippians can fund their online gambling account, but does not make that gambling illegal.