Sid Salter: Will gaming competition keep increasing?

Political and business developments in Arkansas could represent a threat to up to 12 percent of the Mississippi gaming market. Over in Alabama, there was a political near-miss on legislation that would have authorized a state lottery there — which would have created even more competition for Mississippi’s gaming market.

How substantial is that market? The American Gaming Association’s most recent annual report estimated gaming’s economic impact in Mississippi at $3.92 billion and said it generated 36,023 jobs providing $1.44 billion in wages, $911.4 million in federal, state and local tax revenues in 31 casino properties in the state.

In terms of state tax revenues, the State Department of Revenue reported fiscal 2015 gaming revenues at $250.18 million. More to the point, Mississippi took in some $344.58 million in gaming tax revenues in fiscal 2008. By fiscal 2015, that number had dropped to $250.18 million. Fiscal 2016 is showing incremental growth from that figure.

Clarion Ledger