Like many states, Mississippi has strict laws on gambling. This age-old activity is heavily regulated, and you can only gamble legally under certain circumstances. If you are caught participating in illegal gambling, you could face serious legal consequences. These penalties may be even more severe if you are organizing an illegal gambling operation in the Magnolia State. Whether you are facing charges or not, it’s important to know when gambling is illegal in Mississippi.
The penalties for violating these laws can be quite serious, and it makes sense to get in touch with a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney if you are facing charges. These legal professionals can help you pursue a positive legal outcome, and they can fight for your rights in an effective manner. With their assistance, you can mitigate potential consequences, such as jail time and fines.
The Unique Nature of Mississippi’s Gambling Industry
For many years, most of the major casinos in Mississippi were on the Gulf of Mexico. Some of these casinos were located on the floodwaters, while others took the form of casino cruise vessels. However, Hurricane Katrina damaged or flooded many of these establishments and drove the boats inland. This forced the state to rethink its gambling industry, and today there are many more casinos further inland. The reason these casinos were located on the water was for legal, social, and political reasons.
Unregulated Gambling is Illegal
If gambling takes place outside of a licensed establishment in Mississippi, it is illegal. If you are caught, you may be fined $500, and you may also face a jail sentence of 90 days. If you are a public officer (such as a judge or a district attorney), you may be removed from office. If you are involved with the creation of a lottery, the penalties are much more severe, and you could be imprisoned for up to five years. Raffles are also illegal, and you could be put in jail for up to one month if you organize a raffle. The only exception is if the raffle is being organized to benefit some kind of charity, including religious organizations. In addition, it is important to note that gambling on dogfighting is a separate criminal offense with much more serious penalties.
Politicians in Tupelo Accused of Running a Voter Raffle
On October 18th, it was reported that a city council member and a Democratic leader had pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges after running a raffle to encourage people to vote for them. These two individuals were City Council Member Nettie Davis and Charles Penson. They allegedly asked people at a rally to donate money for cash prizes that would later be raffled for people who had voted. Both of these individuals later boasted on social media that there would be “financial incentives” for those who voted.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. We have helped numerous defendants with various criminal charges over the years. Get in touch with us at your earliest convenience, and we can immediately start working on an effective defense strategy for you.