Mississippi Casino Revenues Fall 7% in JanuaryFebruary 21, 2017 11:13 am
The Mississippi Department of Revenue has released its latest casino results for January, revealing a 7% fall in revenues to $166 million, compared to the $178 million that was collected during the same month last year.
While the 12 coastal casinos noted a slight 2% contraction in revenues to $99 million from $101 million a year earlier, the 16 Mississippi River casinos, on the other hand, saw their business tumble by 13% to $67 million in January versus the $77 million generated in January of 2016.
Needless to say, both results were disappointing considering Gulf Coast casino revenues on the whole had been increasing since mid-2014, while business at Mississippi River casinos, too, appeared to have bottomed out last year following years of steady declines.
Furthermore, Coast casino operators will have even more cause for concern in the future if the states of Georgia and Florida actually go ahead and expand their respective casino markets. After all, Biloxi’s eight casinos were negatively impacted by the Scarlet Pearl Casino opening in D’Iberville back in December 2015, and a year later revenues across the casinos were down by $29 million in total to $828 million. This decline came despite the Magnolia State reporting a 2% increase in its overall casino market in 2016 to $2.12 billion, indicating that some players were now content to stay gambling in D’Iberville rather than crossing over into Biloxi.
Currently, residents from Florida account for around 13% of all visitors to Mississippi’s coastal casinos, with Georgians making up a further 5%, and as Allen Godfrey, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, explains; “I think it’s just a matter of time. Competition is coming.”
Mississippi’s casino market experienced year-on-year revenue increase in both 2015 and 2016, before which the industry had posted seven years of declines after hitting a peak in 2007 of $2.89 billion. Two years earlier, Hurricane Katrina had struck the state, and the subsequent influx of government helpers and volunteers in 2007 then helped to push the state’s gambling revenues to its all-time high.