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Fiona Simmons August 23, 2020 3 min read
Mississippi Casinos on the Road to Recovery
Shut back in March, casino operators’s revenue in Mississippi suffered for nearly two months. But results from June and July show a gradual revenue increase, nearly reaching last year’s numbers.
The Casino Industry in the Magnolia State Is Recovering
The Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC) has revealed the results of the reports for gambling revenue for June and July 2020. Despite the near two month lockdown which was enforced due to the spread of the respiratory disease COVID-19, the latest reports show that revenue is gradually increasing. Shut back in March, the casinos in Mississippi were allowed to reopen on May 21.
Similar to other states, operators that reopened their doors had to follow strict health and safety guidelines. Enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols were introduced at each venue. High traffic areas had to be cleaned frequently. Furthermore, operators limited the maximum players per table to three. Social distancing was implemented by physically distancing the slot machines and shutting down some of them. Furthermore, early in July, face masks became mandatory for patrons at casinos in the state under orders from the MGC.
Mississippi’s Operators Reaching Revenue Close to Last Year in June and July
Comparing year-on-year results, we observe that the coastal casinos started to recover in June. The revenue which coastal operators raised in June 2020 is some $104,9 million. This number outlines that the venues are recovering given that revenue in June 2019 was some $109.4 million.
On the other hand, in July the revenue improves more shrinking the year-on-year revenue difference to $1,6 million. In other words, given that in July 2019 some $117,4 million in revenue was raised by coastal operators, this year July they raised $115.8 million.
Looking at the total gambling revenue for the state, we also observe a positive trend. In June 2019, total gambling revenue halted at $181.8 million, while this year it hit $170,9 million. Furthermore, July results have improved even more. The total revenue which was raised by operators across Mississippi in July last year hit $184 million, whereas this year it increased to $195 million.
Gambling Tax Revenue Will Help the State
In contrast to the revenue which is gradually improving, the gaming industry in the state suffered severely from the COVID-19 spread. Gambling revenue for April plummeted to $0.00 when the casinos were still closed. Although the venues opened in May, they managed to raise only $68.8 million in revenue. This marked a plunge in revenue, given that the combined total revenue for April and May last year hit some $367,2 million.
But why is this so important? With the restart of the gambling industry in the state, fresh tax revenue entered the state’s coffers. This fresh tax revenue will undoubtedly help the state to recover from the consequences of the pandemic. Given that many sports are resuming their play, sports betting revenue is also going to increase. With that in mind, we can only hope that the gaming industry will recover quickly from the devastating COVID-19 hit.