Biloxi casinos pass $2 billion mark in taxes paid

Biloxi’s casino gaming industry, which marked its 20th anniversary in 2012, achieved a milestone without much fanfare last month: The industry crossed the $2 billion-dollar mark in taxes paid to state and local governments.

Gaming figures compiled by the city, based on state collection of $16.6 billion in revenue from Biloxi casinos, show the casino resorts have paid a total of $2.02 billion in taxes since 1992.

The breakdown on the taxes:

— $1.327 billion to the state of Mississippi

— $391.6 million to the City of Biloxi

— $150.9 million to Harrison County Board of Supervisors

— $106.2 million to Biloxi Public Schools

— $53.1 million to Harrison County schools

“We’re proud that our Biloxi industry has reached this milestone,” said Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols, who was the city’s Community Development Director in 1992, as Biloxi casinos were preparing to open their doors.

“What people across the state may not realize is that this industry benefits all communities in Mississippi, whether they have gaming or not,” Nichols said. “Of the $2 billion in taxes paid here in Biloxi, more than $1.3 billion of that goes to the state.

“In Biloxi, we’re proud to point to our top-rated and award-winning students and teachers in Biloxi Public Schools, the $80 million in new schools we’ve constructed, the hundreds of millions we’ve invested in city facilities, streets and drainage, recreational programs historic preservation, and having the best-paid, best-trained and best-equipped police and fire departments. And let’s not forget we’ve done these things without raising the city property tax rate in more than 20 years.

“Back before Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Holloway used to have a saying when people asked about where the gaming money was going. It was a short, three-word answer: ‘Just look around.'”


More on the Biloxi gaming market

The past: To see a report the city created in 2012, to mark the 20th anniversary of casino gaming in Biloxi, click here.

The future: The past, present and future of gaming in Biloxi and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast will be discussed in a program titled “All Bets Are …” on Wednesday, May 13, at 7 p.m. at the IP Casino Resort Spa. The program, part of the Ohr-O’Keefe “Katrina +10” series, will feature former Mississippi Gaming Commission chairs and industry analysts. It is open to the public, with no admission fee, although Ohr suggests a $10 donation. For more on the program, click here.

The numbers: To see how casino gaming money is divvied up, and to see gaming reports and collections in Biloxi, click here.