The glass is half full in Mississippi according to local media reports noting that gambling revenue in the state was up 1.4 percent this year over June 2015. The Mississippi Gaming Commission has released numbers for the first half of the year, and although there have been 12 consecutive months of year on year increase, the first half of the year has not seen a steady ride from the state’s 12 coastal casinos, even though they saw more than $1 billion worth of “coins” go into slot machines and kept 7.63 percent of that.
Coastal casino like Beau Rivage and the new Scarlet Pearl did better at keeping player’s money on the regions 526 tables, with an average hold percentage of 17.76 percent. Of the three regions, Central, Coastal, and Northern, the Central region held the most with an overall regional average of 22.89 percent.
The year looks to be on course to exceed last year’s $2,097,066,095 in gross gaming revenue with a total at end of June of more than half that at $1,090,045,292. February has been the best month so far in 2016 with GGR of $190,068,912 – bolstered by a more than $5 million uptick in coastal gaming over the previous month. However June’s numbers for the coastal casinos had fallen to about $96.1 million.
Many analysts credited continued excitement over the December opening of Scarlet Pearl for early GGR expansions this year. Across the state, blackjack is still king of the table games in terms of table volume. The 260 blackjack tables in the coastal casinos account for nearly half of all table games in the region – but 3 card poker is the game that makes casinos the most money per table – raking in over 31% in the worst performing regions and more than 38% in the Central region.
With the overall economy on the mend, recent upgrades and refurbishments at legacy properties, and at least two new casinos on the slate for Biloxi and Gulfport, the coastal gaming economy in the Magnolia state should only improve over time.