There is no doubt the gaming industry is one of the major engines driving the Mississippi’s economy. But there is also no doubt the industry can do even better.
The Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association has released its 2015 annual report with an eye on 2016.
While the industry had great success in 2015, there are also some challenges.
But first, let’s highlight the successes. About $2.1 billion in revenue was raked in by the industry across the state last year. There was about 18,000 direct jobs with a payroll of more than $700 million.
Also, there was $254 million in tax paid to local and state government last year.
Now, here are the challenges. Visitation to casinos on the Coast and in Tunica have actually decreased by more than 6 percent. One of the reasons why is a drive in market.
About 95 percent of visitors come by car. That has to change according to the association. The association needs to attract another low cost air carrier to the Gulf Coast, similar to Air Tran, which operated on the Coast for 10 years before leaving in 2009.
If they can attract a low cost air service, that will ensure the success of this industry now and into the future.