Page 4 - Mississippi/Louisiana Gaming News - December, 2017
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Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association
Update on MGHA’s concerns regarding lottery in Mississippi
Official Newsmagazine of the Mississippi & Louisiana Gaming Industries
DECEMBER 2017 Volume XV Issue 4
W. Michael Sunderman
Lori Beth Susman
General Manager / Executive Editor
Mary Sunderman
Associate Publisher
David Grisham
Contributing Editor
Michael Haynes
Business Manager
Brian Treadaway Dara Parker Missy Mitchell Kelsey Sunderman
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Copyright, 2017
Mississippi/Louisiana Gaming News (MSLAGN) is owned and published by M2 Media Corp., 12268 Intraplex Parkway, Gulfport, MS 39503. MSLAGN is produced in cooperation with the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association and the Louisiana Casino Association. The contents of MSLAGN are copyright- ed. All rights are reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without written permis- sion of the publisher is strictly prohibited.
By Larry Gregory
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and spent some time reflecting on the many blessings that surround us. It is true that gratitude breeds more
and convenience stores, which have occurred in other states.
Further, Mississippi’s regulated commercial casino gaming industry, which has operated successfully for
25 years, has been limited to adults at least 21 years old in counties along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast. A lottery would spread its form of gambling into every community of our state with
a minimum age of 18. This would be a seismic shift in Mississippi’s public policy on gambling.
By far, the most serious concern of MGHA members centers on VLTs, which closely resemble casino slot machines. The most striking example of this can
be seen in Illinois, which has allowed these types of machines since 2012. Since then, they now have more than 27,000 terminals at 6,172 locations, which is equivalent to 22 new casinos. The negative impact on the Illinois casino industry is evident.
(source: Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability):
• Annual Gross Revenue down by 13.7 percent (revenue down $224,217,000)
• Admissions down 24 percent (loss of 3.8 million annual admissions)
• Staffing at the 10 casinos down 10.8 percent (equates to more than 800 direct jobs)
Those seeking to legalize VLTs are offering a narrow and shortsighted view by looking at increased revenue while ignoring the impact it would have on our travel and tourism industry, including the gaming industry.
As many of you are aware, over the past 10 years, competition for visitation from neighboring states has increased and, during the same period, Mississippi experienced catastrophic events in the form of a massive hurricane, an oil spill and floods. MGHA’s members have stuck it out through it all. They have reinvested in Mississippi, and have brought thousands of high-paying quality jobs to our residents. VLTs will not bring any of
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gratitude, and I think if we spend time counting the things for which we are thankful, we will find that the list quickly grows to something much bigger than we would have ever thought.
Larry Gregory
Indeed, the
same is true
when I think of things for which I am thankful within this industry — the
hard workers, their dedication to guest service, the steady leadership in the face of an always changing economy... and, yes, the list goes on. No industry is perfect, but I challenge us to reflect on the good and see where it takes us, individually and corporately.
The following is an update on a legislative issue we have been engaged in these past few weeks.
On Nov. 16, 2017, I appeared
before the last committee hearing
before the House Lottery Working
Group to state MGHA’s position on
the lottery. My purpose was to relay
the many issues regarding the lottery that legislators may not know about. From the beginning, I told the Lottery Working Group that the Mississippi Gaming & Hospitality Association has serious concerns about establishing a lottery in Mississippi. These concerns range from unconditional opposition to any form of lottery, to expansion into versions of slot machines known as video lottery terminals (VLTs) or any other forms of online or electronic games
that play like traditional slot machines, online games, free-standing lottery ticket vending machines and keno in bars

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