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June Gaming Lift Raises Hopes for Strong Summer
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An uptick in gaming revenues in June could be a good sign for the rest of the summer. MPB’s Evelina Burnett reports, gaming revenues were up about 1.5% statewide.

Casinos on the coast and in Tunica saw some growth in June, while the central river region was flat. Jay McDaniel is deputy director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. He says coast casinos generally see a boost from summer vacation traffic so the growth in June bodes well for July and August.

"Our year-to-date June numbers are up just about 1% statewide, so that's good," he says. "But that's primarily being carried by the coastal market. The coastal region is up 5%, while Tunica and river region are actually down 3% and 4%."

Mississippi Gaming & Hospitality Association director Larry Gregory says he’s encouraged by the June numbers.

"It's telling me that more tourists are coming into the state, and the reinvestment that we have been doing on the Gulf Coast, specifically on the Gulf Coast, is paying off," he says. "We said years ago that we needed more amenities than we do slots, and so our coastal casinos did exactly that."

New amenities on the coast include hotel towers and new restaurants at several casinos, a lazy river at the Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis, and a mini-golf course at the coast's most recent addition, the Scarlet Pearl in D’Iberville.