Mississippi Casino Revenues Up 2% to $2.12BN in 2016

Mississippi’s casino market ended 2016 on a positive note, with $171 million of revenues generated in December, higher by 2% compared to the $167 million that was collected during the same month last year. Helping to account for much of the increase was the state’s 12 coastal casinos which reported gross revenues of $92.4 million, representing a 2% improvement versus December of 2015.

As a result, the Magnolia State produced $2.12 billion in revenues for the whole of 2016, marking a 1% increase over 2015’s tally, and two consecutive years of growth for the industry. Breaking 2016’s figure down by markets, Mississippi’s 12 coastal casinos generated revenues of $1.19 billion, up 2% versus 2015; while the state’s 16 river casinos collected $932 million, or 2% less than last year.

Prior to its recent impressive run, Mississippi had experienced seven years of contraction following its 2007 peak when statewide collections hit $2.89 billion. That was the year when thousands of government workers and volunteers traveled to South Mississippi to help with its recovery following the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

The overall effect was to push the state’s Coastal casino revenues to an all-time high of $1.3 billion, while starting a reversal of fortunes in which Mississippi River casinos, which generated revenues of $1.66 billion in 2006, began to fall behind their coastal rivals. Consequently, coastal casino have now produced more revenues than the river casinos for the last three years.

There may be more competition for Mississippi ahead, though, as Georgia is currently considering legalizing casinos, while Florida is looking to expand its own gambling market. Case in point, in December 2016, Florida residents accounted for 13% of all gamblers visiting Mississippi’s coastal casinos, with Georgia contributing a further 5%

“I think it’s just a matter of time. Competition is coming,” explained Allen Godfrey, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
Mississippi launched its first casino back in 1992, and since then the industry has grown to employ more than 40,000 people, and contribute over $6.5 billion in state tax revenues.

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