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State's casinos see monthly revenue rise

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Mississippi’s state-licensed casinos presented a mixed picture last month in gambling winnings, dropping from a year ago while sailing by January’s figures.

Players lost $208 million in February — 5.8 percent less than in Feb. 2010, the state Revenue Department said. But the tally increased by 9.7 percent from the $189.7 million won in Jan. 2011.

The eleven casinos along the Gulf Coast won $94 million last month, down 1.9 percent from the $95.8 million gamblers lost in Feb. 2010. Along the Mississippi River, 19 casinos took in $114 million last month, an 8.9 percent drop from $125.1 million won in Feb. 2010.

But February’s statewide total showed a 9.7 percent increase from the $189.7 million the casinos won from players in Jan. 2011.

The performance of the casino business has had its ups and downs during the uneven economic recovery with money for discretionary spending and travel being tight for individuals — and businesses watching dollars spent on conventions, a lucrative target of casinos and the cities that host them.

In Louisiana, which competes on the Gulf Coast with Mississippi for gambling dollars, 13 riverboat casinos, the land casino in downtown New Orleans and four racetrack casinos won $199.5 million last month — down 4.4 percent from the February 2010 figure of $208.7 million.

Following the Mississippi pattern, the Louisiana tally was up 4.3 percent from Jan. 2011.

Casinos in Nevada, which mostly had a flat 2010, saw a decline of 0.7 percent in January winnings from the previous year. Although New Jersey, which has been cut into deeply by competitors in Pennsylvania and Delaware, was only down 1.4 percent from February to February, the tally for the first two months of 2011 has dropped 7.6 percent.

Source: The Associated Press

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