Mississippi Gaming Revenues Hitting Rock BottomJuly 5, 2013 2:36 pm
This week, the Mississippi Gaming Commission released its casino figures for April revealing a dramatic drop in gross revenue to $176.3 million, compared to the $187.1 million generated in April 2012. Since 2007, Mississippi casino revenues have been in steady decline mostly due to the recession and increased competition, but worryingly April’s result was the lowest since 1998, while January’s was the lowest since 1997, and February’s revenue the lowest since 1998.
Commenting on April’s casino results, Mississippi Gaming Commission executive director Allen Godfrey, said: “The numbers did surprise me..Some might point to the fact that the month started on a Monday and we missed part of a weekend, but we’ve got to get people to come here. I can’t express that enough..People are more cautious with their money now..They just stopped coming. And we have to come up with the amenities to bring them back.”
Breaking April’s figures down further, the state’s 12 coast casinos took $85.6 million, down from $93.4 million the previous year, while Mississippi’s 18 river casinos generated $90.6 million in revenues, down from $93.7 million in 2012, and representing the worst April since 1996.
Overall, for the first four months of this year Mississippi’s 30 casinos have pulled in $726.8 million in revenue, 13% lower than the $798.6 million taken over the same period in 2012. Once again the latest monthly figure is the lowest four-month total since 1998 when the state’s casinos managed to generate $726.8 million in revenue, although significantly fewer casinos were operating at the time.
Recent efforts to try and stem the state’s continued dramatic casino decline has included Caesars Entertainment’s Harrah’s Tunica, Horseshoe Tunica, and Tunica Roadhouse instituting a $1 million giveaway promotion called the Millionaire Maker every Saturday night, with 10 people having already been awarded $1 million each.