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State's casinos record drop in revenue in May

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Revenue for Mississippi casinos dropped about $2 million in May from April.

The Mississippi Department of Revenue released figures that show casinos took in $185.3 million may compared to $187 million in April.

And the figures showed casino revenue was 26 percent higher in May than a year ago, when river casinos were forced to close by Mississippi River flooding.

In May, the coastal casinos took in $90 million about $3 million less than April; the river casinos, from Tunica to Natchez, collected $94.3 million only slightly higher than the $93.7 million in April.

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Casino was open 10 days in May but made little difference on revenue figures from the coastal casinos. The 12 casinos winnings in May were $5 million, or 5 percent, less than a year ago.

The MDOR figures continue to show a slow start to the year. Coast casino revenue was up in February, March and April compared with this time a year ago. Despite the dip in May, coast casinos remain ahead of 2011’s winnings at this point by about $500,000.

The river casinos increased winnings to $94.3 million from $40.9 million in May 2011, but were below May 2010 revenue of $107.8 million.

Casino revenue across the state was down three out of five months this year. Without the flooding to burden the river casinos, Mississippi is ahead of last year at this time by $47 million.

For the 2012 calendar year, casinos’ winnings total $984 million.

The numbers don’t include Choctaw Indian casinos, which are not required to report their winnings to the state.

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