USM Professor Says Tax Hike Would Hurt State Casinos - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

USM Professor Says Tax Hike Would Hurt State Casinos

A private group called the Mississippi Gulf Coast Economic Development Council wanted documentation so they could fight future casino tax hike proposals.  So the council turned to Dr. Denise von Herrmann.  The USM professor got $55,000 to study Mississippi's dockside casinos.

"In general," she said, "they're still quite stable and still quite strong."

But Dr. von Herrmann's research concluded that the industry's strength would be diluted if Mississippi lawmakers raised casino taxes by as much as 3 percent.

"We expect that as many as seven casinos statewide would close," the professor said, "with a direct lost of over 5,000 jobs. Indirect losses could go to almost 10,000 jobs."

The economic development council asked for those numbers, so it could prove to lawmakers that a casino tax hike would hurt everybody in the state.

Mike Olivier represented the group at the news conference.

"That's what our business leadership is interested in learning," he said, "because we want to protect what we've got."

Casino Magic Bay St. Louis President John Jagunich is on the economic development council. His company is spending $37 million on its new hotel. The expectation is that when the high rise opens May 27, it will bring more customers to the resort.

Jagunich worries that a tax hike could keep some gamblers away.

"So it's more than just the increase in gaming taxes," Jagunich said. "It's the loss to everybody else."

Another part of Dr. von Herrmann's study was to look at how casinos survived in the aftermath of September 11th. And how they weathered the recession.

According to the professor's research, free food and free rooms cut into profits. But they kept gamblers coming in the door.

"What I found generally was that the gulf coast casinos particularly were spending a great deal of money to attract visitors," she said, "to keep visitation high in order to keep their revenue stream going."

By Brad Kessie

  • NEWSMore>>

  • NOAA predicts near- or above-normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

    NOAA predicts near- or above-normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

    Thursday, May 24 2018 11:29 AM EDT2018-05-24 15:29:42 GMT

    The organization predicted 10 to 16 tropical systems, with five to nine becoming hurricanes. One to four of those hurricanes is predicted to develop into major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or above. 

    More >>

    The organization predicted 10 to 16 tropical systems, with five to nine becoming hurricanes. One to four of those hurricanes is predicted to develop into major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or above. 

    More >>
  • UPDATE: Suspect arrested in Pascagoula Money Mart robbery

    UPDATE: Suspect arrested in Pascagoula Money Mart robbery

    Thursday, May 24 2018 11:25 AM EDT2018-05-24 15:25:51 GMT
    Bryan Davis is charged with robbing a check-cashing service in Pascagoula at knifepoint earlier this week. (Source: Jackson Co. Sheriff Dept)Bryan Davis is charged with robbing a check-cashing service in Pascagoula at knifepoint earlier this week. (Source: Jackson Co. Sheriff Dept)

    Pascagoula Police are thanking the public for their help after multiple tips led to the arrest of a suspect in an armed robbery this week.

    More >>

    Pascagoula Police are thanking the public for their help after multiple tips led to the arrest of a suspect in an armed robbery this week.

    More >>
  • Biloxi Fire shows off new life-saving equipment

    Biloxi Fire shows off new life-saving equipment

    Thursday, May 24 2018 11:12 AM EDT2018-05-24 15:12:02 GMT
    Biloxi Fire Department has two new life-saving pieces of equipment, including this air supply truck and a smoke trailer. (Source: Biloxi Fire Dept)Biloxi Fire Department has two new life-saving pieces of equipment, including this air supply truck and a smoke trailer. (Source: Biloxi Fire Dept)
    Biloxi Fire Department has two new life-saving pieces of equipment, including this air supply truck and a smoke trailer. (Source: Biloxi Fire Dept)Biloxi Fire Department has two new life-saving pieces of equipment, including this air supply truck and a smoke trailer. (Source: Biloxi Fire Dept)

    Biloxi firefighters have two innovative new tools that can be used to help train the firefighters and to teach the public. It's a move that can only mean more lives across the coast being saved. 

    More >>

    Biloxi firefighters have two innovative new tools that can be used to help train the firefighters and to teach the public. It's a move that can only mean more lives across the coast being saved. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly