Casino revenues drop across state|Decrease not so fast and furious in Vicksburg

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Though the tax revenue numbers are down from a year ago, Vicksburg’s five casinos fared better than the rest of the state’s 29 non-Native American casinos in June.

Mississippi’s state-licensed casinos recorded a 20 percent slide in money won from gamblers in June. The Mississippi State Tax Commission reported gamblers lost $189.7 million last month — compared with $237.3 million in June 2008. Vicksburg’s casinos posted a more modest drop, about 6 percent, compared to last year.

Local casino taxes

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• City receives 65 percent

• County receives 25 percent

• Schools receive 10 percent

Tax takes

• June 2009    $642,050

• June 2008    $681,917

Locally, a 3.2 percent gaming revenue tax is divided among the city, county and school district. The city receives a 65 percent share of the tax — as well as a $150 fee for every gaming device in the casinos — while the county gets 25 percent cut and the schools 10 percent. In June, the 3.2 percent tax netted $642,050, compared to $681,917 last year.

The gaming commission splits up win data between the casinos on the state’s coast and those located on the Mississippi River. For the latest month, casinos along the Mississippi River won $105.6 million, down from $120.9 million a year ago. Casinos along the Gulf Coast recorded a slide to $84.1 million from $116.4 million.

In May, Mississippi casinos won $222.7 million, a drop from the May 2008 figure of $235.7 million. Total tax revenues collected locally in May were up slightly from a year ago.

The local numbers likely are doing better than those reported statewide due to the addition of Riverwalk Casino — the city’s fifth and the first to open in 14 years — which began operations on Oct. 28, 2008. Gaming tax revenues in Vicksburg were off by about 3.8 percent in fiscal year 2008, compared to 2007. The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. To date, local gaming tax revenues are nearly flat compared to 2008 — up a slight 0.54 percent.


Contact Steve Sanoski at