Mississippi Casinos Generate 6% Less Revenues In AprilMay 22, 2014 12:16 pm
The Mississippi Department of Revenue has released its casino figures for April, revealing a 6% fall in revenue to $164 million, compared to the same month in 2013. It would also appear that the state’s two main markets are on different tracks at present, and whilst Mississippi’s 12 coastal casinos stayed relatively flat with a mere 1% drop in revenues to $84.5 million in April, Mississippi’s 18 river casinos in the Tunica market saw their business plummet by 12% to $79.8 million from a year earlier.
That situation is also likely to deteriorate even further come June 2nd when Caesars Entertainment Corp shuts it Harrah’s casino in Tunica. Commenting on the situation, John Payne, president of Caesars’s central markets division, said: “There’s just too much supply in that market. The Harrah’s has not been profitable for a while.”
Casino revenues statewide over the last 12 months have now fallen by 3.6%, during which time Mississippi casinos have generated roughly 74% of the revenue of its 2007 peak year of $2.891 billion. In fact, casino revenues of $2.136 billion for the whole of last year represented Mississippi’s lowest yearly tally since 1997 when state casinos collected $1.984 billion.
Being blamed for the dramatic slide in revenues which started in 2007 is an increase in competition from neighbouring states, such as Arkansas which has continued to allow gambling expansion at its racetracks. Mississippi also faces significant threats to its gaming industry from other states in the area, including Louisiana, which last month generated $194.8 million in revenues, with growth noted in Shreveport-Bossier City and Lake Charles. Furthermore, Mississippi looks like it will have to contend with even more casinos siphoning off its customers in the near future as Florida continues debating a statewide casino expansion project. Commenting on the situation, Mississippi Gaming Commission executive director Allen Godfrey, said:
“I think competition is really hurting everyone..There’s no telling how that will end up. But if they do expand it, we will feel the impact. Just like we feel the impact from the Poarch casinos in Alabama and the casino in West Memphis.”