August taxes paid by Vicksburg casinos take a dip

Published 11:59 pm Friday, September 17, 2010

Revenue-based taxes paid by Vicksburg’s five casinos fell by 13.2 percent in August compared to last year, while Mississippi’s 30 state-licensed casinos collectively took 1.6 percent less from gamblers than in August 2009.

Proceeds benefiting the city, county and school district from three different gaming taxes collected from the local casinos totaled $792,049.65, compared to $912,575.85 a year ago.

Vicksburg gets the lion’s share of all local gaming tax revenue, including a 65 percent cut of the main 3.2 percent tax, while Warren County gets 25 percent and the school district 10 percent. A second revenue tax equaling a 0.8 percent share of the state’s 8.8 percent revenue tax is split between the city and county, nearly evenly based on populations.

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With one month left in the fiscal year ending Sept. 31, gaming revenues trail year-to-date fiscal year 2009 numbers by 4.6 percent — with a total of $9,494,510 collected this year and $9,954,355 last year.

The state revenue department reported Mississippi casinos won $202 million in August, down about $3.2 million from the year previous.

The 11 casinos along the Gulf Coast fared better than those along the Mississippi River, including Vicksburg’s casinos. Coast casinos won $101.3 million, up 5.6 percent from August 2009. Along the river, 19 casinos experienced a 7.9 percent dip, winning $100.7 million last month — compared to $109.3 million last August.

The latest results indicate the Gulf Coast may be shaking off some of the effects of the Gulf oil spill. The August winnings were also up 3.8 percent from July 2010. July is typically a better month for the industry, coming at the height of the summer season and with a major holiday weekend.

State revenue department figures do not include the two Indian reservation casinos in the state, which do not pay taxes and are not required to report winnings.