Mississippi Casino Revenues Plummet 10% in FebruaryMarch 23, 2017 2:28 pm
In 2016, Mississippi’s casino market ended a seven-year slump by posting a slight 1% revenue increase to $2.12 billion compared to the previous year. However, 2017 has gotten off to a shakier stars, and after tumbling 7% in January, the state’s coastal and river casinos have now followed up by reporting a 10% year-on-year decline in February.
Overall, the Magnolia State generated a total of $172 million last month, versus the $190 million collected in February of 2016. From that tally, Mississippi’s 12 coastal casinos saw their revenues contract 9% to $95 million from $105 million a year earlier; while the 16 river casinos noted a similarly sharp 10% fall in business to $77 million compared to $86 million for February 2016.
As a result, Mississippi’s casino market is currently lagging $11 million behind the amount collected during the first two months of 2016.
Mississippi opened its first casino back in 1992, and over the years the industry has grown to provide direct and indirect employment for more than 35,000 people, as well as attracting 20 millions visitors to the state each year. Since peaking at $2.89 billion in 2007, however, increasing competition from neighboring states has forced Mississippi’s casino market to focus more on offering a more all-round entertainment product for its visitors.
Mississippi also recently expanded its gambling mix by becoming the first state to approve daily fantasy sports legislation in 2017. Governor Phil Bryant signed House Bill 967 into law earlier this month, with the new gambling segment expected to generate $60,000 in licensing fees, as well as a further $5 million in tax revenues each year.
In so doing, Mississippi has now joined a number of other US states to embrace daily fantasy sports, with its growing list including Virginia, Rhode Island, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Tennessee and West Virginia. Furthermore, another 23 states are currently looking into possibly legalizing and regulating their own DFS markets, while just five states have openly banned the activity, including Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and Washington.