Page 8 - MGHA Annual Report, 2022
P. 8

 Mississippi’s gaming industry continues to serve as a catalyst for driving Mississippi’s economy and creating avenues for boosting tourism in our state.
While COVID-19 presented unforeseen challenges for Mississippi’s gaming market, it was an opportunity to double down and demonstrate the industry’s value in providing meaningful careers, growing tax revenue for the state, and in being a desirable destination for tourists.
Nothing speaks to this more than the performance that we have seen from casinos in every region of the state. The overall year-to- date numbers through August 2021 increased more than 20 percent compared to the pre-COVID numbers of 2019. The Tunica and Lower River Regions both grew at 18 percent. The Coastal Region had its best August on record, despite properties closing due to Hurricane Ida.
In fact, at the end of August 2021, statewide revenues had matched the total gross revenue for all of 2020.
Scott Waller
  While the significant increase in gaming revenue signals a return to normal, we can’t underestimate the importance of the other amenities resorts offer. The fantastic restaurants and world-class entertainment play a significant role in making Mississippi’s gaming industry attractive to visitors from all parts of the U.S. and throughout the world.
Still, challenges remain, primarily in the area of workforce. The hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit in the pandemic. Building a strong workforce is critical. This is the top priority of the Mississippi Economic Council — the State Chamber of Commerce.
In addition, we must maintain a fair regulatory environment. The free-market approach taken by Mississippi’s legislature and the Mississippi Gaming Commission’s governance creates one of the country’s most competitive and successful markets. The tremendous leadership of MGC Executive Director Allen Godfrey, who retired in September, has ensured an equitable approach for all of our gaming companies.
The gaming industry’s strong support of local communities and assistance on statewide initiatives make it an essential part of our economy. MEC looks forward to strengthening our ongoing partnership.
Scott Waller
President & CEO
Mississippi Economic Council

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