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Mississippi Casino Revenues Drop In May Despite Good Weather

Mississippi casinos could not have had a worse month than they did in May, with revenue totaling just over $40 million. The revenue figures were skewed in May thanks to flooding that caused the closure of many casinos in the state. In June, casinos rebounded nicely with Mother Nature's assistance.

June revenue at nineteen riverboat casinos was up to $91.6 million. The number represented a significant increase over the May figure of $41 million. June was good compared to May, but did not fare as well when side by side with the figure of $189.5 million that was won in June of 2010. The combined revenue figure for June, including eleven Gulf Coast casinos, totaled $185.5.

The 2.1% decrease may have felt a lot worse for the gaming executives had it not come on the heels of one of the worst months in the industry's history in Mississippi. In May, the total revenue equaled $137.2 million. Mississippi casinos are expecting that the figures continue to rise in the late summer months.

Gaming executives believe that the public was still wary of the flooding in June. Several claimed that it took a while for residents to figure out that the casinos had re-opened in early June, and that caused lower attendance than was expected for the first month of summer.

"The perception was still not real positive in June," said Allen Godfrey, Deputy Director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, as reported by The Associated Press. "We were still getting calls asking if they're (casinos) open."

Louisiana casinos fared a bit better in May, winning $203.2 million in May. Louisiana is a hot spot for summer travelers, and the casinos gained customers due to the casino closures in Mississippi. Despite the decent revenue figures, total winnings were still down $400,000 from the same period in 2010.

The Gulf Coast had become over the past couple of decades the third largest gaming destination in the US behind Nevada and New Jersey. In recent months, competition has become fierce, with many states expanding their gaming options. Pennsylvania has made the biggest splash in the industry, with analysts predicting it will pass New Jersey in total casino gaming revenue by 2012.

Out West, California has made advancements in their gaming industry, although a new form of gambling is now catching the eye of lawmakers. Legislators in California, Iowa, Hawaii, Florida, and Nevada are all considering bills that would regulate online gambling. Washington DC has already authorized online casinos, with the expectation that the new form of gambling will be available in September.

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