Mississippi Casino Revenues Down 10.6% To $172m In May

Mississippi Casino Revenues Down 10.6% To $172m In MayThe Mississippi Department of Revenue has released its casino figures for May, revealing a 10.6% drop in revenue to  $172 million, compared to the $192 million generated in the same month last year. For the first five months of this year, gambling revenues are now lower by 4.8% statewide, a slight improvement on the 5.1% drop reported statewide from 2012 to 2013.
Breaking the figures down, the Magnolia State saw revenues at its 12 Coast casinos plummet to $84.3 million,11% lower than the $94.7 million collected in May 2013; while its 18 river casinos saw revenues shrink by 10% to $87.5 million.
The latest results represents three consecutive months of declining revenues for the state and all in all, Mississippi has now experienced revenue declines in 21 out of the last 23 months. However, Mississippi’s latest casino results reflects the situation occurring in the wider US casino industry, which has seen revenues contract as more and more states turn towards gambling as a source of income. When Louisiana first legalized casinos more than 20 years ago, for instance, there was little competition from nearby states such as Oklahoma and Missouri, all of which now have their own casino industries.
Highlighting the saturation in Mississippi’s gambling industry, the beginning of June saw Harrah’s Casino Tunica (photo) shut its doors after an 18-year run in Tunica. The decision was made in response to  the casino’s customer base halving from 3.4 million in 2007 to a mere 1.7 million by last year, and as Tunica Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO Webster Franklin told The New York Times, recently:
“Many locals are hoping that another casino operator could jump in and take over the property. But R. Scott Barber, Caesars’ regional president for the area, says that a sale is not imminent, and that the company has been looking for a buyer for four years. Caesars, he said, had to eventually close Harrah’s Tunica because the operating losses were just too much to continue bearing.”
Likewise, there has been an overall fall in revenues across the whole of that region, with Mississippi River counties revenues currently down to $80 million from $112.5 million in April 2009.

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