Mississippi casino August revenue drops

Published 1:17 pm Friday, September 19, 2008

Seeing the Labor Day weekend clipped by Hurricane Gustav, Mississippi’s state-licensed casinos won $232.7 million from gamblers in August, down a bit from a year ago, the Mississippi State Tax Commission reported Wednesday.

Still, the Gulf Coast casinos posted bigger winnings last month than in August 2007, taking in $120.6 million, compared with $108.6 million a year ago.

Casinos located in the Mississippi River counties, including Tunica, Natchez and Vicksburg, won $112.1 million last month, a drop from $130.7 million in August 2007.

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All 11 of Mississippi’s coastal casinos and one in Natchez closed the Sunday before Gustav on Aug. 31 and the day before Labor Day, cutting into one of the industry’s traditionally big weekends. They were allowed to reopen Sept. 3 after cleanup in the area had been completed.

Overall, Mississippi casinos have been following a national track of either flat or reduced gambling revenue on a state-to-state basis — the product of more outlets and economic conditions.

In July, Mississippi casinos won $249.3 million, down from $267.7 million in July 2007.

Louisiana’s state-licensed casinos won $217.7 million in August after coastal outlets lost most of the Labor Day weekend to Gustav. That was a slight jump from $213.1 million in August 2007.

None of the figures include casinos on Indian reservations, which are not required to reveal their winnings to the public.