Is Online Poker Legal in Mississippi?
Mississippi is perhaps famed for its riverboat gambling, although nowadays it does take a pretty strict view on almost all forms of gambling, especially if it is of the unregulated kind. Thankfully however, this state isn’t as harsh as some of the others out there.
The definition of gambling in the eyes of the Mississippi legislature is quite broad, but also fairly wordy and reads as the following, The definition of what a game is can be found straight after which gives further clarification of the law.
If any person shall encourage, promote or play at any game, play or amusement, other than a fight or fighting match between dogs, for money or other valuable thing, or shall wager or bet, promote or encourage the wagering or betting of any money or other valuable things, upon any game, play, amusement, cockfight, Indian ball play, or duel, other than a fight or fighting match between dogs, or upon the result of any election, event or contingency whatever. 
Except as otherwise provided by law, “game,” or “gambling game” means any banking or percentage game played with cards, with dice or with any mechanical, electromechanical or electronic device or machine for money, property, checks, credit or any representative of value, including, without limiting, the generality of the foregoing, faro, monte, roulette, keno, fan-tan, twenty-one, blackjack, seven-and-a-half, big injun, klondike, craps, poker, chuck-a-luck (dai shu), wheel of fortune, chemin de fer, baccarat, pai gow, beat the banker, panguingui, slot machine, or any other game or device approved by the commission. 
There are different charges for those that play games and those that operate, and it is the latter which seems to be targeted the most in the state. However, it is worth mentioning here that the penalties for the latter are not quite as severe as some other states and a charge of operating a game isn’t a felony.
There are a number of regulated options out there including commercial casinos and tribal casinos, however, there is no state run lottery or horse or dog race gambling here.
Casinos and Live Poker
There are plenty of places to play Live Poker in the state, including the casino options that I mentioned above. Social gaming however is a particularly murky area as there is no real legislation which deals with the issue, however, it is fair to say that it is highly likely to be illegal if we look at the law at the start as it does fall into the definition of illegal gambling. However, I also mentioned that it is unlikely that a player would be charged and there doesn’t seem to be too many raids of social poker games as of late.
Based on the legislation above, it is highly likely that online poker could be seen as illegal in the state, although the current legislation makes no reference to online gambling as it is so old. In recent years there haven’t been any arrests of people that play online poker, although that doesn’t mean you should play! It is a case of playing at your own risk.
It is likely that online gambling will be regulated in the future, legislation has been put forth, although it has been rejected. However, this does go to show that people are considering it as an option, which means it could pop up again sooner rather than later.