Casinos’ revenue is worst in 14 years

Published 11:29 am Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mississippi casinos in October recorded their worst revenue month in 14 years, plummeting taxes paid by Vicksburg casinos to government and school coffers.

Statewide casino revenue fell to $167.4 million, according to Mississippi Department of Revenue figures, 8 percent less than October 2011 and the lowest since September 1998.

If the trend continues, the state’s gambling halls could collect less money in 2012 than in 2011 despite the Mississippi River casinos being closed most of May 2011 because of flooding.

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The 17 river casinos from Tunica to Natchez won $83.9 million, down 11 percent from the $93.9 million they won in October 2011. The 12 coastal casinos won $83.5 million from gamblers, down 5 percent from the $88.2 million they won in October 2011.

The numbers exclude Choctaw Indian casinos, which aren’t required to report winnings to the state.

Revenue taxes paid to the City of Vicksburg totaled $431,600 in October, up 31 percent from September but down 15 percent from October 2011. The city has four casinos paying revenue taxes versus the five opened a year ago. Grand Station, which closed in March, was purchased in October after a six-month bankruptcy case.

Warren County collected $210,399 in October, down from $251,399 from the same time a year ago. Vicksburg Warren School District took in $56,050, down from $67,114 from October 2011.

For fiscal 2011-12, revenue taxes to the city reached more than $6.3 million but missed fiscal 2011’s mark by 0.2 percent. The county’s take was more than $2.8 million, up about 7 percent from last year. The increase is attributed to bigger checks from the county’s 0.8 percent share of Mississippi’s 8.8 percent revenue tax. It’s determined by the population split between the city and county, which grew in the county’s favor in the 2010 census.

The VWSD ended the year with $1,865,140 in revenue collected from casinos during the fiscal year, up more than $1 million from last year’s $721,897.