A barometer of the economy? Or a beneficiary of improving economic condition? Either way, Missouri’s casino industry is looking better.
Customer numbers at Missouri’s 12 casinos dropped by one percent in July although attendance was up at seven of Missouri’s casinos and held steady at the eighth. But casino income was up four percent . Nine casinos made more money this July than in July last year. Gamblers lost about 153 million dollars last month.
Executive Director Gene McNary with the state gaming commission says a perception about the economy that might weigh more heavily than economic reality in patron behavior. He says people might be a little less cautious about spending as economic signs seem to be improving.
In fact, he says, the economic downturn might actually have been a factor in improved casino business because people have stayed at home instead of making gambling trips to Las Vegas or Atlantic City.
McNary doesn’t have much doubt the death of loss limits has improved Missouri’s casino business prospects by bringing people back who had gone to other non-limit states.
The star of the business continues to be the new Lumiere Place in St. Louis…which showed an 18 ercent increase in attendance and a 37 percent increase in income this year versus July of last year.