Mississippi Casino Revenues Down 2% To $172.8m In June

Mississippi Casino Revenues Down 2% To $172.8m In JuneAccording to the Mississippi Gaming Commission the state’s casinos generated $172.8 million in June, representing a 2% drop from the $176.1 million collected in the same month last year. From that tally, the 11 coastal casinos’ saw revenues fall by $3 million to $95.5 million from June 2014, while the 17 river casinos also reported a contraction in business, albeit by just $260,145.
For the first five months of 2015 Mississippi’s casino revenues are fairly flat compared to 2014, which isn’t at all good news considering last year was the worst on record for The Magnolia State, with revenues reaching their lowest point since 1997. In fact, since the industry peaked at $2.89 billion in 2007 revenues have been declining ever since and the $2.07 billion collected in 2014 was down on the $2.136 billion generated in 2013, and the $2.251 billion for 2012.
Over the past 10 years the Mississippi casino industry has fallen from the country’s third-biggest market to its sixth, with part of the reason being blamed on a sluggish economy, increased competition from neighboring states, as well as the Bible Belt state not giving the casinos the help they require to ride turbulent times. As Republican chairman of the House Gaming Committee, Richard Bennett, explained last year:
“The state is going to have to, at some time, look at them as being a legitimate business and may have to help them like we do others. We don’t provide them any tax breaks, even on the tourism aspect, golf courses, hotels, nothing. We don’t treat the gaming industry the way we treat every other industry in our state.”
In March 2014, for instance, Harrah’s Casino Tunica went out of business and had to shut its three hotels, golf course, and events center, in the process putting around 1,300 people out of work. As a result, the Yazoo Mississippi Delta Levee Board recently had to increase taxes for the first time in 18 years in order to maintain the levees which protect properties along the east side of the Mississippi River.

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