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Mississippi Casino Revenue Drops To Lowest Point Since 1998

The Mississippi casino industry has been having a rough time with their gaming revenue for several years, and the figures released by the Department of Revenue this week did not offer much reason for hope moving forward. In 2011, revenue at Mississippi casinos dropped to its lowest point since 1998.

It has been over a decade since the state's casinos saw revenue as low as the $2.24 billion they won last year. That figure represented a 6.3% drop from 2010, and continues a trend of decreasing revenue that began back during the 2008 economic recession.

Coming off their strongest showing ever, $2.89 billion in 2007, revenue dropped gradually over the next four years. The economy had a large part to do with the revenue loss, but competition from other states around the country have kept the revenue from rebounding to pre-recession figures.

"It's going to be a long time before Mississippi casinos experience the type of gaming activity they saw in 2007," said Gaming Analyst Brad Dawkins. "There is a chance that the industry never fully recovers, with the competition that surrounds the state now, along with future expansion and online gambling, the revenue may simply top out where it currently sits."

The Gulf Coast has had Mother Nature to blame as well as the economy over the past couple of years. Several storms have caused flooding in Mississippi that has led to the closure of casinos. The closures have, at times, been two or three weeks long, leading to casinos trying to recover millions of dollars in revenue loss. The flooding caused closures or decreased attendance most prominently from April to June last year.

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