Mississippi has an interesting history as far as gambling goes. There was a time when residents of Mississippi and visitors alike gambled on almost everything and did it almost everywhere. That was the 17th century era when Mississippi was not actually a formal state. Then, people could bet on races and participate in Lotteries just as easily as they played poker and other betting games. Gambling became so rampant in the area that as years passed it became a national concern. For that reason, when there was room to control it, the authorities clamped on it as if it was a menace.
For many years, Mississippi residents had no casinos to visit and play poker or partake in any other betting activity; and they had no lottery to speak of. And considering that online gambling is a relatively new development, one that has come with advanced technology, it means that people in the state could not play online poker either when the brick and mortar casinos were closed down.
Gambling Was Tainted In Early Centuries
The reason Mississippi frowned upon gambling for many years is that it created a bad image in the early centuries when the place was known for its vibrant trading activity. People from many parts of the state and beyond would come to this trading hub and take time off to enjoy gambling that was rife within the many riverboat casinos. Steamboats also provided gambling facilities and people would cruise and play poker and other betting games to spice up their leisure along the famous River Mississippi. Obviously, there were many people who went home richer than they had come, above their trading profits, but others, definitely had horrifying stories to tell. Without regulation, the gambling activities took place within a jungle-like environment and for that reason, cheating was prevalent. Some poker players were unscrupulous and victims spoke of card-sharps in many of the boats.
Poker enthusiasts were, however, not deterred from partaking in their favorite pastime, and so they learn to survive and enjoy their games. But the vibrancy along the Mississippi was rudely cut short by the civil war that broke out in the 1860s. After the war, life in Mississippi did not return to normal. Trading was affected and, of course, playing poker and the rest of the gambling could not resume as before. Soon, as state laws were put in place, gambling was prohibited. It meant that poker enthusiasts could only play clandestinely. For almost a century there was not much gambling one could speak of in the state of Mississippi; at least not legally.
Mississippi Legalized Gambling In 1990
1990 saw the change of the gaming environment in Mississippi. The state passed the Gaming Control Act and people could now play poker and such other games without restrictions. Investors could now run casinos legally. In fact, many casinos came up along the coast and within the counties bordering River Mississippi, but that had to happen in concurrence with the local residents. Today, residents and visitors are happy to board boats sailing in the Mississippi and enjoy their poker and the breeze at the same time; or relax in the casinos on land while gambling.
Some Betting Still Prohibited
Still, the state laws in Mississippi have not liberalized gambling in its entirety. For instance, betting in horse racing is prohibited. The state does not also provide for a lottery. And residents of Mississippi are not allowed to engage in social gambling. This goes to show how keen the authorities are to keep gambling under control. Gladly, bingo games and raffles are allowed for charitable causes. It’s odd, though, that the state laws permit betting on dog fights. However, that permission is not of much consequence today as animal rights activists have ensured that the fights are almost non-existent.