Gambling revenue up as fifth casino opens

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 11, 2008

While the gaming revenue tax from Vicksburg’s casinos was up significantly in November — the first full month in which the city’s fifth casino was in operation — the Mississippi Gaming Commission is reluctant to say the market is showing definite signs of growth until more information becomes available.

The 3.2 percent revenue tax split between the city, county and school district was up by nearly $100,000 in November compared to last year, and $95,000 from the previous month. Those increases would indicate that the Vicksburg casino market took in roughly $3 million more in November this year, however, Gaming Commission Executive Director Allen Godfrey said there could be a number of reasons why the numbers are inflated.

“There are adjustments that are sometimes made by the casinos, whereby they are paying additional taxes from October, for example, that were recorded in November. I don’t know if that’s the case here, but from my experience, an adjustment in the number of properties doesn’t usually account for that much increased revenue,” he said. “The (November) numbers are certainly a positive sign, but I don’t have enough information to make a judgment call on whether the Vicksburg market is growing.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Casinos pay taxes weekly, and therefore some monthly checks rebated to local governments numbers reflect five weeks of revenue while others reflect four weeks. For example, October 2007 had five weeks of reported revenue, while October 2008 had just four — which was reflected in the gaming tax revenue as a nearly $100,000 drop in tax revenue in October compared to a year previous. However, November and November 2007 were both four-week months, as reported by the casinos.

Gaming tax revenues in Vicksburg were off by about 3.8 percent in fiscal year 2008, which ended Sept. 30, compared to fiscal year 2007. Gaming tax revenue in November for the state’s 29 casinos has not been released by the state gaming commission.

Before the opening of Riverwalk on Oct. 28 — the first to open in the city in 14 years — gaming commission authorities in Jackson and Vicksburg said they anticipated the market to experience some growth. Godfrey said January numbers will be the first to show whether there’s a trend.

For the last fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, there was a slight downward trend in local gaming activity, the first since casino gambling was legalized at riverfront sites in Warren County in 1993.


Contact Steve Sanoski at

Casino tax revenue

Each week, Vicksburg’s five casinos pay 12 percent of their revenue from wagers to the Mississippi Tax Commission. Once per month, the state sends 3.2 percent of the money back, with 10 percent going to public schools, 25 percent to Warren County and 65 percent to the city. Another .8 percent share is split based on population proportions between Vicksburg and Warren County. The state keeps 8 percent. Each casino is also required to pay a $150 fee per gaming device to the city annually. Other than revenue taxes, casinos also pay local property taxes and Vicksburg shares in transactions at casinos that are subject to the state’s general sales tax and bed tax. Meals and liquor sales are subject to the 1 percent tax that supports the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

November 2008

City:        $501, 714.76

County:    $236,900.98

Schools:     $64,227.46

Fiscal year to date 2008

City:        $1,035,355.10

County:      $438,481.53

Schools:          $118,938

November 2007

City:            $425,029.32

County:       $200,380.10

Schools:        $54,383.43

Fiscal year to date 2007

City:          $1,040,165.10

County:       $439,317.41

Schools:      $119,272.39