Mississippi Casino Revenues Fall 1% in August

Mississippi casinos reported a 1% fall in revenues last month after growth in the Gulf Coast market failed to offset the declines experienced at the state’s River gambling halls. Overall, revenues came in at $171 million in August compared to the $172.7 million collected in the same month of 2015. Commenting on the figures, Mississippi Gaming Commission Executive Director Allen Godfrey, stated:
“We just got expansion of gaming and states that in years past have not had gaming,” before adding that “what you see down on the gulf coast is major reinvestment. Things that are not gaming. They’re hotel towers. They’re restaurants. They’re non-gaming amenities.”
Mississippi’s 12 casinos located along the Gulf Coast generated revenues of $98 million in August, marking a slight 1% improvement versus last August. Even more encouragingly, coastal casinos has now seen their year-on-year revenues grow in twenty-two of the last twenty-seven months.
Mississippi’s 16 River casinos, on the other hand, reported a 3.6% fall in revenues to $73 million, marking forty-three months of declines for the region out of the last fifty-months.
In August, Mississippi subsequently channeled $11.3 million in gambling taxes towards the state general fund, while a further $7.2 million went to local governments.
Mississippi opened its first regulated casino back in 1992, and by 2007 the industry had generated peak revenues of $3 billion. Business has been significantly down on that figure ever since, though, and in 2013 revenues came in at $2.07 billion, although in 2015 revenues did increase to $2.1 billion. Nevertheless, the impact of Mississippi’s casino industry extends far beyond just gambling, and last year a further $800 million was collected in non-gaming revenues. The state’s casinos also help attract more than 20 millions out-of-state tourists each year, and provide direct and indirect employment to 35,000 people. Highlighting the importance of offering entertainments outside of just gambling, Allen Godfrey explained:
“It’s not about gambling anymore; it’s about entertainment and promoting tourism and all those things that go along with that.”

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