After Mississippi casinos capped off a competitive fiscal year in June, the expectation was that they would get off to a decent start in July. They met that expectation even if they didn’t leave themselves much wiggle room.
Revenues from Mississippi’s casinos and sportsbooks during July failed to reach record heights, but didn’t give ground, either. For the 2023-24 fiscal year to be record-setting in Mississippi, gaming licensees might get more creative.
Mississippi gaming revenue plateaus in July
For the most part, gaming revenue and taxes from Mississippi’s casino were unchanged in July compared to the same month in 2022. For example, the state’s tax haul for the month grew by just eight-tenths of a percent year-over-year.
The small variances applied across all segments of the industry for July. Revenue from poker, slots and table games rose by 3.4% over July 2022’s total. Meanwhile, the win from sports betting declined by around 2.5% in the same comparison.
Overall, gaming revenues were up 3.3% for the month. However, July’s numbers were significantly down from Mississippi’s record revenue months. In July 2021, for instance, poker, slots, and table games revenue came to $233.5 million. Thus, July 2023 represented a decline of about 6.4% from that record tally.
Challenges for building momentum
If Mississippi casinos want to outdo themselves this year, they’ll likely need to depend on effective marketing and consumers breaking their recent habits.
Revenue from poker, slots, and table games declined by a small margin in FY22-23 compared to the previous term according to data from the Mississippi Gaming Commission. July might represent a breaking of that trend or it could represent a single-month outlier. During FY22-23, Mississippi casinos set new single-month revenue records for those game types in April and September.
The other 10 months, as exemplified by June revenues, all varied in terms of severity but experienced declines. Growth by expansion is unlikely to be significant in the current year. There is one pending project in the southern part of the state. However, casinos seem on track to stand pat as far as the number and size of their operations go.
The expansion of online gambling in Mississippi seems like a pipe dream anytime soon as well. Thus, casinos will have to convince people in Mississippi to spend more of their entertainment budgets at their properties if they want to post new records this year.
July’s numbers weren’t a bad start. If the level of performance stays at this level, though, FY23-24 could be a mediocre year for Mississippi casinos.