Image: Biloxi, Mississippi at Sunset
In the past few decades, the Mississippi Gulf Coast has become one of the premier destinations for casino gaming. Vacationers and local gamblers go and spend money at the riverboats and beautiful resorts that line the coast. Recently, however, there has been less people doing just this due to a few different factors, but first here’s why its not looking great…
Facing a Large Decline In Revenue
In November 2017 alone, there was a 5% total decline in revenue for the coast gaming industry. These figures show a $10 million difference from the revenue totals from last year. The total revenue for October was $94 million, and $998 million in total for the year. This is a $45 million difference from the 2004 totals, which was the year before Hurricane Katrina. The figures point to a steep decline recently and may be a warning sign of trouble in the future.
More Casinos Always On The Way
Although the established casinos on the coast have enjoyed a steady stream of visitors and local regulars for some time, new casinos and those in the works are thinning out the customer base. It seems there are more casinos than there are customers these days making it hard to create positive revenue, and there are more in the planning phase. With the constant emergence of proposed casino builds and the regular expansion of already established ones, there is just too much competition.
The Impact of Hurricanes
It is no secret that the Gulf Coast is notorious for having hurricanes, but they have been getting stronger and more frequent. When the casinos first began to appear in this area, it seemed as though they were not taking this factor into account building over the water with little for protection. When Hurricane Katrina blasted through the Gulf, it took with it many of the most popular casinos in the area away with it. Some of those casinos never rebuilt. The ones that did rebuild, and the others that followed as new builds, took this factor into consideration by moving their sites on solid ground rather than on barges as they had before. Simply building the casino on land rather than on barges, however, does not eliminate the risk of extensive damage from these powerful storms. This year, hurricane Nate proved to be a thorn in the side for the coast gaming industry by causing many casinos to close for several days. Several of these establishments suffered damage due to flooding and wind following the minor category 1 storm.
With the surge in popularity in online gaming, brick and mortar coast casinos are struggling to compete. They really have to step up their game to convince players to leave the comfort of their home and venture out to their site to play. The online casinos have plenty of bonuses and incentives that keep players coming back for more. The future of gaming is definitely poised to change with online casinos taking on the established traditional style casinos.
The figures from the last few years have shown a steady decline in revenue for Mississippi Gulf Coast Casinos. The aforementioned factors are creating a stir in the industry and may prompt the parent companies of these casinos to take a different approach to be able to effectively compete in the future.