Coast casinos post big win in April

May 20, 2015
By Mary Perez at Sun Herald

South Mississippi's 11 casinos made it four out of four months this year that gross casino revenue topped 2014 numbers.

The April report released Wednesday shows a jump of 11.5 percent in Coast casino revenue and a 4.4 percent increase in the river counties for a state increase of 8 percent won from gamblers last month.

The 11 Coast casinos won $94.3 million, up from $84.5 million a year ago. It was the best April win for the Coast casinos since 2008.

Coast casino revenue for January through April is $24 million ahead of 2014 numbers.

The river casinos for the first time this year also saw an increase in revenue compared to 2014. Their gross casino revenue was $82.8 million, up from $79.3 million in April 2014.

Mississippi's revenue increased to $177 million from $164 million last year.

Gross casino revenue in South Mississippi is bouncing back from the recession years but trails the rates in 2005 before Hurricane Katrina hit. In April 2005, the Coast casino revenue was $100.9 million.

Along with increased competition, South Mississippi was still short 1,255 casino hotel rooms in the first quarter of this year compared to pre-Katrina. Since then, Island View Casino's Beach Tower opened at the end of April, adding another 405 rooms.

The first 72 rooms at Silver Slipper Casino's new tower are expected to open this weekend. That will rise to 96 new rooms at Silver Slipper by mid-June. The tower's top two floors of suites are expected to open by mid-July.

"We're very pleased with the look of the rooms," said general manager John Ferrucci.

Silver Slipper was the first casino built on land after Katrina and this is the first time guests will be able to stay at the property in Hancock County.

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