Page 6 - Mississippi/Louisiana Gaming News - Spring, 2021
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AGA’s releases 2021 State of the States report
WASHINGTON — The COVID-19 pandemic had a signi cant impact on the gaming industry in 2020, causing a 31% drop in commercial gaming revenue and a signi cant shakeup in the top 20 casino markets. While the pandemic overwhelmed traditional gaming sectors, the industry experienced monumental growth in emerging verticals like sports betting and iGaming. All of last year’s shifts in the commercial gaming landscape at both the
state and national levels are covered in
detail in American Gaming Association’s
(AGA) State of the States 2021: The AGA
Survey of the Commercial Casino Industry.
Highlights from the report include:
• 2020 marked the industry’s lowest total annual revenue since 2003, with consumer spending on commercial gaming falling to $29.98 billion, down 31% from 2019.
• All 25 states with physical commercial casino gaming reported lower revenue than in 2019.
• Americans legally wagered $21.5 billion on sports, compared to $13 billion in 2019. Revenue from legal sports betting operations increased 69% to $1.5 billion.
• The Mississippi Gulf Coast market jumped several spots to the  fth largest gaming market in the country. Also in Mississippi, the Tunica/Lula market moved up to 17.
“The gaming industry faced enormous challenges in 2020 — and we also saw signi cant changes, as player demographics shifted and emerging verticals saw strong growth,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “From sharp revenue declines, to booming legal sports betting activity and overwhelming voter enthusiasm behind gaming, this year’s report re ects both the highs and lows of the past year.”
During the  rst two months of 2020, U.S. commercial
gaming revenue was up 11.4% compared to the same time in 2019. However, due to mandated casino closures and capacity restrictions, revenue fell signi cantly for the remaining 10 months of the year, beginning in March when all U.S. casinos shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a survey conducted in April 2020, AGA member company executives, including commercial and tribal
operator and supplier CEOs and CFOs, estimated a revenue decline of slightly more than 40% in 2020 and a timetable for recovery of up to two years. Q1 2021’s commercial gaming revenue numbers tied for the highest-grossing quarterly total ever, suggesting a quicker recovery than anticipated.
The numbers were impressive for casinos in Mississippi in the  rst quarter, too, and revenue totals are climbing. In March, Coastal Mississippi casinos recorded their best month in history at $147,597,502 and topped that in April with $151,697,387. Mississippi River casinos saw months
in March and April that were the best months they’ve seen in years, grossing $100,864,042 and $109,684,807 has been more than a decade since the
respectively. It
Mississippi gaming industry as a whole has seen months like these.
“The  rst quarter of 2021 clearly shows that consumer interest in gaming never waned, despite the challenges of 2020,” said Miller. “This momentum is a direct result of our industry’s ability to provide safe environments for our employees and guests to return to and is a strong indicator that our recovery is on the horizon.”
AGA’s annual State of the States report details the commercial gaming industry’s  nancial performance. To read the State of the States report in its entirety, visit www.
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Resort conducted a two-day job fair, and Island View Casino Resort hosted one in mid-April, as well.
Horseshoe Tunica and Penn National’s Tunica properties (1st Jackpot and Hollywood casinos) hosted job fairs in late April. And Golden Nugget Biloxi
and Harrah’s Gulf Coast, just to name two, have job fairs slated for May. Many casinos, such as Casino Vicksburg,
Fitz Casino & Hotel Tunica and others, posted job listings on social media sites, job boards and elsewhere looking to hire.
Job fairs and recruiting efforts by industry members are taking place in all corners of the state and continue in the face of a service and hospitality industry
labor shortage.
Many potential employees have been
on the sidelines, reluctant to return to work for a variety of concerns and reasons. The situation has had an impact as operators have had to cut opening hours and close dining rooms due to staff shortages.
However, the lifting of mask mandates at the national, state and local levels combined with the announcement by Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves
that Mississippi would end the payout
of the $300 Federal unemployment supplement on June 12, should increase the number of people in Mississippi looking to return to work.
(The additional Federal unemployment bene ts are a part of the American
Rescue Plan that was extended through September 2021.)
MGHA has new of cers
MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi Gaming & Hospitality Association has new of cers. Anthony Del Vescovo, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, has been appointed chair of the organization with Penny Bankston, WaterView Casino Hotel, named vice chair. Rounding out the of cers are Toni Burns, Sam’s Town Tunica, treasurer, and Chett Harrison, Golden Nugget Biloxi, secretary.
Del Vescovo and Harrison represent the state’s Coast Region, while Bankston is from the Central Region and Burns represents the Northern Region.

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