Except for 2005 and 2006, when casinos were closed following Hurricane Katrina, South Mississippi hit its lowest total since 1999. Revenue still topped $1 billion but finished down $30 million, or 3 percent below 2012, according to numbers released late Wednesday by the state Department of Revenue.
“I think competition is really hurting everyone,” said Allen Godfrey, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
He said Pennsylvania reported its first down year since casinos opened there.
New Jersey’s revenue fell below $3 billion in 2013 for the first time in 22 years, the Associated Press reported, and casino revenue in New Orleans was down 16 percent in December.
Northern Mississippi is feeling the competition more than casinos on the Coast, Godfrey said. The 18 river casinos finished 2013 with revenue of $1.072 billion, which is $84 million less than last year. Most of that loss was in the Memphis area, he said.
Combined with the $31 million decline in South Mississippi last year, the state was down $114 million for 2013 compared with 2012.
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