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Mississippi Casino Gaming Revenue Drops During September

Casinos Begin To Trim Down Workforce In Anticipation Of Slow Season

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A Couple of Casinos Along the Mississippi Gulf CoastAfter a string of steady numbers for 2012, the Mississippi Department of Revenue reported a 4.3 percent drop in gaming revenue for the month of September, taking in $177.9 million from the state’s 30 non-tribal casinos.

The drop was expected thanks to the opening of the brand new L’auberge Hotel and Casino in nearby Lake Charles, Louisiana, but surprisingly, it wasn’t the 12 coastal casinos who failed to pull their weight, taking in $86.7 million, an increase of 2.8 percent.

Instead, it was the 17 river casinos, who brought in only $91.2 million, a 10 percent drop from last year’s figure of $101.6 million.

Because of economic struggles and a flood that forced casino closures throughout the state, Mississippi consumer spending fell from $2.39 billion in 2010 to $2.24 billion in 2011. In the last 12 months, however, statewide revenue is up a modest 0.33 percent.

Despite the small overall growth, casinos haven’t stopped cutting back on employment. In 2010, the state’s casinos employed 24,707 people. That number fell by 4 percent in 2011 to 23,721. Similar cuts are expected this year and layoffs have already been made at a number of properties in preparation for the slow season.

Mississippi is home to two of the top ten regional gaming markets in the United States. The Biloxi/Gulfport area brought in $824.82 million in 2011, good for eighth place. The Tunica/Lula area took in $817.09 million to rank ninth overall. The Las Vegas Strip continued to lead all gaming markets in the U.S. with $6.069 billion in revenue.

Mississippi draws over 28 million visitors each year to their casinos. The state is expected to make just over $270 million in gaming tax revenue this year thanks to a graduated tax rate of 8 percent.

There are 3 tribal casinos in the state run by the Choctaw Indians who are not required to disclose income to the Mississippi Department of Revenue.