Biloxi’s ‘secret’ has been discovered

By Andrew “FoFo” Gilich

Mayor of Biloxi

Biloxi’s casino industry shattered all gaming records for a single month in April 2021.

Gross gaming revenue is net income on which casino’s pay taxes each month.

Biloxi’s eight casinos generated $111 million in gross gaming revenue according to state records, eclipsing a $105 million record set in July 2007. In fact, in the 29-year history of legalized gaming in Biloxi, only four times has gross gaming income exceeded $100 million for a single month. It was the best April ever — by 30 percent.

I have been monitoring the jumps in monthly gross gaming income from $71 million in February, to $92 million in March and now $111 million for April.

Also, right along with April gross gaming income is a near record sales tax revenue we just received, $1.222 million. The record for a single month was August 2016, $1.24 million.

These are astounding numbers, particularly at this time, in these early months of 2021 after everything Biloxi and our Coast battled through in 2020 and considering that our gaming industry was not even at full throttle yet.

Numbers don’t lie and everyone needs to reach their own conclusions.  No matter why they came or however they got here, from wherever they came, the fact is that they got here.  The result was great, and we expect them back in the future. We have always proclaimed that if a visitor comes to Biloxi once, our product will sell itself.

I’m not in the prediction business, especially now. In 2019 Biloxi’s GGR hit $903 million, not a record, but pushing it. About a year ago at the State of City address, I exclaimed how good everyone should feel about 2020. We were truly on a roll from the start of fiscal year in October 2019 until March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic brought it all to a trickle. At least in my mind, we were on track to have a billion-dollar year.

We carried on through many the challenges of 2020, you know them all. And now as a result, Biloxi is positioned better than ever before to move into the future and achieve its destiny.

The Innovation Group, a gaming industry consulting company, has been working in Biloxi for three decades. Company President Michael Soll noted that there is more to it than Biloxi’s record high revenue mark after the coronavirus closures. Soll said: “The real story in Biloxi is the long-term resilience of the market, which has been proven time and time again. It’s the result of its hybrid position as a convenient regional market with destination-caliber offerings and amenities.

No doubt much attention will be forthcoming to the Biloxi offerings in gaming, tourism and its quality of life.
Gaming revenue: See the numbers