Biloxi gaming figures show sharp decline

By WLOX Staff

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Biloxi casino resort industry reported gaming revenue loss of $26.9 million from June of 2008 to June of 2009.

In June 2008, casinos reported $91.5 million in revenue, the largest June on record and one of the largest months in Biloxi history. With figures on the decline over the past several months, Mayor A.J. Holloway knew the numbers from June of this year weren't going to be a pretty comparison. And he was right.

Gaming revenue figures in Biloxi were $64.6 million last month, the lowest June in seven years and a drop of 30 percent from last year's monster June. The figure also was an 11 percent drop from May. In fact, Holloway says, the city's monthly gaming revenue figures have failed to outpace the same month from the previous year for the past 12 months.

"Overall," the mayor said, "we're 12.63 percent off on gaming revenue since the fiscal year began on Oct. 1, and 7.2 percent off sales tax revenue. That comes to about $2 million in revenue we're having to do without."

The reason for the revenue slide is simple, Holloway said: "It's the economy, no doubt about it. People I speak to in the industry tell me that the numbers of visitors are off slightly, but the amount of money those visitors are spending is off considerably more. People don't have the discretionary income right now. That's it in a nutshell."

Biloxi has a host of regional and national gatherings in town this month, and it's a good thing, the mayor said, particularly since gaming and sales tax revenues fund about two-thirds of the city's operating budget.

You can get more information by going to the city of Biloxi's website.

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