Rolling on the River
A look at the April gaming stats for Mississippi
At the start of the decade there were no legal casinos. As we approach the end, Mississippi now has 29 with an average gross win per month of $200 million. The internal area of the gaming facilities amounts to 1.5 million square feet, or in more understandable terms, roughly the size of 24 soccer pitches.
The casinos come under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Gaming Commission and it is from the detailed statistics at their website that form the backbone of this article. Taxes on gaming win are payable to the Mississippi State Tax Commission and they also give details as to the total win figures achieved by the properties for the month.
the State Commission divides the State into 3 distinct geographical locations.
These are the North River(10 casinos), South River(7) & Coastal regions(12).
The total amount of slots for the 29 casinos amounts to 37,937 and tables 1,431. A ratio of 25 to 1, which gives a gaming positions ratio of just over 3 to 1. In the month of April, of the $217 million gross win some 80% was derived from the slots and only 20% from table games. The number of employees totals over 38,000. The number involved directly in gaming activities though is not stated.
The largest properties (by area) are the Grand Casino, Biloxi (Coastal) and the Grand Casino, Tunica (North). The two combined have a total of 5,700 slots and 240 tables. The Beau Rivage that opened in March 1999 has almost 2,000 slots & 99 tables, but has the highest number of employees at 4,744.
Give them what they want.
Some games are pretty much dead in the water and include; Sic Bo(0), Casino War(3), Chuck-a-Luck(0), Bayou Bournee(0) and the age old game of Faro(0).
areas also have a wide number of permitted denominations. All the way from
a nickel to $500. The later has 4 examples, no doubt all eagerly awaiting
players. The stats do however not mention the win from them.
What's the Hold?
Just as important are the monthly hold figures for each table. The coastal region making more that the other regions at $27,000 per Blackjack & $81,000 per Craps table. They are also ahead in Mini Baccarat, producing $64,000 per table. Three card poker producing $37,000 per table in the Coastal and North River regions.
slots the hold percentage stays pretty much true to the notion that the
higher the denomination the greater the pay back. $25 and $10
machines holding between 3 & 4%. The bread and butter $1 & quarter
slots holding around 5% and 7% respectively.
Total slot revenue for the month of April was over $175 million or just over $150 per machine per day.
The only way is up!
So it would seem that with new openings revenues are set to grow further. Looking at the list of owners of the properties, almost all of the big names of gaming are to be found in Mississippi. The American love affair with the casino despite the significant downside of "problem gambling" has certainly blossomed.
It is strange though that outside the States the notion that for casinos you must either go to Vegas or Atlantic City still rings true. But, I feel sure the casino marketing departments in Mississippi indeed know that already.
PS. If anyone knows the rules or has a photo of Bayou Bournee in full flow, please send them on. A list of operating casinos + maps can be found at http://www.mississippicasinos.com