The casinos located in the Mississippi’s Gulf Coast have been doing amazing, as their January revenue hit $100.5 million. This is a 15% increase for the region, as it increased from $87.3 million that was gained from the same month last year; a $13 million increase. Helping with the positive news was the recent opening of The Scarlet Pearl casino built in D’Iberville in December of 2015. With this latest opening, it took the total amount of casinos on the coast up to 12, but it seems that a friendly strategy is helping to maximize profits, rather than take them away.
The Scarlet Pearl’s Helping Strategy
Eleven other casinos already operated in the region, so when the Scarlet Pearl opened its doors it took a different approach. Instead of trying to take business away from the other locations, it actually helped improve and grow the market, as there was a higher turnout, giving strong performances with the year’s gross revenue. It increased it to $1.14 billion, which is higher than the previous record holder of 2009 with $1.11 billion. It also helped improve 6% on the year from the $1.08 billion earned in 2014.
The Scarlet Pearl is the first casino built using the new requirements by Mississippi, having a minimum of 300 hotel rooms, as well as being the first for the city D’Iberville. It also has other attractions that are expected to bring in new visitors to the area with the help of Lava Links, a miniature golf course with a working exploding volcano.
Overall Gaming Market to Continue Increasing
According to the report from the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association (MGHA), the casino market is continuously improving, increasing 1.4% in 2014, and 6% in 2015. This is even after Hurricane Katrina, as the area has still not fully recovered, as well as the fact that they are, as Michael Bruffey, deputy director of the MGHA stated,
And that’s in the face of visitors declining. Outside of Las Vegas and Atlantic City, you will not find a cluster of high-end gaming resorts like you do in Mississippi. To remain competitive and to separate our region as a unique, high-quality resort area. Since 2011 over $1.5 billion has been invested by operators on the Gulf Coast.
The number of visitors has been declining each year, with 2015 having fewer visitors than in 2014; which saw less than before the storm. The decline in visits has gone from 20.7 million in 2004 down to 14.6 million in 2015, where 2015 saw a loss of 1 million visitors from the previous year.
It also seems that more investors are coming to town, hoping to get a piece of the pie and possibly help increase the market. Robert Lubin, a developer with Mississippi Coast Entertainment LP, was given permission by Gulfport city officials, and mayor of Natchez, Billy Hewes. Adding another location to the city, aside from the Magnolia Bluffs Casino, will be done in hopes of bringing in more revenue, as well as job creation. It still has to be approved by the Mississippi Gaming Commission and will begin construction on the $140 million casinos soon after.