October 20, 2016
By The Sun Herald
Coast casinos are having their best year since the national recession hit in 2008. Thursday’s report from the Mississippi Department of Revenue shows gross casino revenue hit $98.4 million in September, up 7 percent from a year ago.
The river casinos were down just $80,000 from a year ago, putting the state’s total up 4 percent year-over-year. Eight years ago, the Coast casinos were posting strong revenue driven by construction workers, government employees and volunteers who were still in South Mississippi helping the Coast recover from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The downturn came in September 2008. Revenues, which had topped $100 million most months after the casinos reopened following Katrina, suddenly fell to $85 million. After that, revenue topped $100 million only nine times in the 84 months from 2009 to 2015. In 2016, revenue has been above $100 million five out of nine months and hasn’t fallen below $96 million any month this year.