Mississippi Racinos Experiencing A Downturn in Gaming Profits

On October 22nd, 2008, the only machine that most individuals can afford to spend some money these days produce gasoline, not coins and dreams of stopping work early. Those other gaming machines-the ones that bear names like the Wheel of Fortune sit emptier than your wallet in some days. Slot machine profits at the three racing track casinos or “racinos” are down by $7 million in the first 3 months of this fiscal year compared to the same period a year ago. That is not a good news for tax payers, who receive half of all the money earned by the racinos.

Mike Bloom, the general manager of the Isle Casino at Pompano Park said that the economy is not good right now, so they are also feeling it too. He said that gasoline prizes have dropped in the past weeks and they are getting some improvements in visitor traffic. The three month period coincides with the beginning of blackjack and casino table games at the Seminole Tribe casinos but racing track officials said that the economy is at least at fault in this case.

That belief is supported by the seventeen percent drop in September profits, the same month that larger gaming operation-Wall Street-spiraled into chaos. It’s an ongoing national trend. The Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut is cutting off 700 employees and neighboring Mohegan Sin casino last month postponed plans for a $1 billion expansion citing economic troubles. The eleven casino facilities in Biloxi, Mississippi, are off twenty-three percent in recent months, hit by the problems in the economy and the Hurricane season.

According to state figures, the three Broward racinos had net revenues of $49 million during the 3 months, compared to $55.6 million the same period a year ago. Net revenues are the total amount wagered minus the total amount paid out. The Seminole Tribe does not publish its monthly total and would not report its annual profits until next year under terms of its gambling contract with the state.

The president of Mardi Gras Gaming and Racing Center, Dan Adkins commented that his Hallandale Beach Facility is both being affected by the economy and the Seminole Tribe. Mardi Gras’ slot revenues slide down to $5 million in September, from $6.1 million a year ago.