September 21, 2015
By Mary Perez at Sun Herald
BILOXI -- For the seventh time this year, Coast casinos saw revenue increase compared to the same month in 2014. Gross casino revenue was up $3 million, or 3 percent at the 11 casinos in South Mississippi.
Coast casinos win again in August, topping last year's gross gaming revenue for the seventh time this year.
The Mississippi Department of Revenue reported Monday that the 11 casinos in South Mississippi had a combined revenue of $97.2 million in August, or $3 million more than last August's winnings of $94.1 million.
The casinos have posted higher numbers every month this year except in June. Casino revenue is just shy of $50 million ahead of this time last year, totaling $781 million compared to $732 million for the first eight months of 2014.
Revenue at the river casinos was down for the seventh month this year at $75.6 million compared to $81.0 million a year ago. Total casino revenue for Mississippi was down 1.4 percent for August, coming in at $172.7 million compared to $175.1 million in August 2014.
While the start of school in early August cut into revenues, the Coast casinos may have seen a boost from players reacting to the smoking ban in Louisiana casinos. Gross casino revenue in the New Orleans market fell 8.5 percent in August.
Harrah's has blamed its declining revenue on the smoking ban, and has applied for a permit to build two outdoor courtyards with slot machines so players could continue to smoke while they play.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this article