JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Hurricane Isaac's drenching rains dampened August casino revenues in Mississippi, with closings and bad weather keeping gamblers from losing as much as in August 2011.
Statewide casino revenue fell 3.4 percent from last year, to $178.4 million, according to Mississippi Department of Revenue figures.
In August, the 12 coastal casinos won a total of $86.3 million from gamblers, down 5.1 percent from the $90.9 million they won in August 2011. Most coast casinos were closed from Tuesday, Aug. 28, until that Thursday evening or Friday morning after Isaac's landfall.
The 17 river casinos from Tunica to Natchez won $92.1 million, down 2 percent from the $93.8 million they won in August of last year.
The numbers exclude Choctaw Indian casinos, which aren't required to report winnings to the state.
Mississippi's Gulf Coast casinos won more money from gamblers in July than in any month since August 2008. The dip in August 2012 put them back into negative territory, down 1 percent for the last 12 months. But considering that Isaac's approach and aftermath influenced the last week of the month, only a 5 percent decrease from the year-earlier period may actually be a good outcome.
"I know we missed some days," said Allen Godfrey, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. "You probably are looking at that Saturday and Sunday before, we lost some revenue because people didn't come."
Because of the recovery from the 2011 floods, the Mississippi River casinos have won 2 percent more money from gamblers in the most recent 12 months than in the preceding year. The state as a whole has seen revenue increase by less than 1 percent in the most recent 12 months.
Next door to Mississippi, Louisiana's state-licensed casinos took in $188 million from gamblers in August, winnings that were on par with a year earlier but a 5 percent drop from July.
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