Tunica casinos expected to grow 30% in 2010
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March 16, 2010
JACKSON, MS - A Harrah's official told state legislators Thursday he expects
gaming in Tunica County to grow 30% in 2010. Scott Barber, Mid-South regional
president for Harrah's Entertainment, said after a meeting with senators and
members of the House Gaming Committee, he predicted Tunica gaming would lead
Mississippi out of its worse gaming slump since 1999.
"Our sales group and convention business should be up 30 percent over last year,
but last year was a low-water mark. We fell off the map,"
"So, I think that even with that 30 percent added to this year's numbers, we
still wouldn't be where we were in '07 and '08."
State gaming revenues in 2009 were reported as $2.46 billion, which is less than
2008 revenues of $2.71 billion and well below $2.89 billion in 2007.
This is according to Mississippi Casino Operators Association's State of the
State Annual Report.
The chairman of the association, Jon Lucas, wrote in the report: "As we close
2009, most would agree that saying goodbye to last year would be too kind and
that 'good riddance' is more in order".
"To say it was a difficult year for the economy as a whole and for the tourism
industry in particular would be a true understatement."
Mississippi has 30 casinos across three regions -- North River, South River and
the Gulf Coast. Their taxes and fees account for about 4 percent of the state's
Tunica County and Coahoma County are in the North River Region and have 10
casinos with 5,271 hotel rooms and 10,700 employees.
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