Missouri Casinos Down 6.3% To $141m In JulyAugust 14, 2013 11:12 am
The Missouri Gaming Commission has released its casino results for July revealing a 6.3% decline in revenue to $141.3 million compared to the same month last year. Overall, revenues at Missouri’s 13 licensed casinos were off by $9.5 million in July, resulting in the state coffers receiving almost $2 million less in gambling taxes.
Gaming analysts believe Missouri’s disappointing monthly figure was a result of the continuing economic downturn which has affected the US economy over the past few years. Federal data, for instance, showed a national unemployment rate of 7.4% in July which, despite being a 4 and a half year low, was still above the 6% found in healthy economies. The overall effect translates into less disposable income for gamblers, and as Missouri Gaming Commission tax audit manager, Jennifer Bruns, explains:
“We’ve seen a downward spiral. People are spending money on other things.”
Reporting the steepest decline in July was Lumiere Place in downtown St. Louis, which was down by 17.8% to $11.4 million; followed by Kansas City’s Ameristar, which recorded a 10% drop in revenue.
With casino figures now collected for the whole of the fiscal year to June 30th, Missouri has announced it welcomed 1.37 million fewer gamblers to its casinos during the year, with total casino revenues down year-on-year by $50.3 million, at $1.74 billion. Worryingly, out of Missouri’s 13 casinos just the River City Casino reported a revenue gain y-o-y, albeit a miniscule 1% increase. Elsewhere around the state, revenue declines ranged from 2% at the Isle of Capri in Boonville to a 15% decline at the Argosy in Riverside.
As a consequence of the declining casino figures, city leaders have experienced great difficulties determining how to fund city projects, and as Cape Girardeau City Council Representative Mark Lanzotti explains: “We at the city need to get a very firm handle on what an annual revenue stream is going to look like to even help us begin to plan for expenditures and where to best put those resources to help the most citizens of Cape.”