To start the week we published a story talking about how Maryland casinos had an absolutely fantastic end to 2016. It seems as though Maryland wasn’t the only place where casino-goers emerged from the woodwork as casinos in the St. Louis area similarly reported strong Decembers.
Perhaps the gambling industry in the United States is turning a corner many though would be impossible to navigate. Perhaps casinos are becoming more and more mainstream, rather than a niche location attracting only tourists and those who grind day in and day out. If nothing else, proponents of legalized gambling in the United States can take solace in the fact that we are seeing casinos all across the country post record revenues; and this is something that seems to happen almost every month now.
According to gambling regulators from both Missouri and Illinois, St. Louis casino locations saw more customers—and more winnings from those customers—in December 2016 than they did in December of the year before. Of the 6 casinos in the St. Louis area, 5 out of 6 saw significant increases in customer traffic, which resulted in a lot more revenue than they have seen in the previous few years.
The one casino that did see customer traffic thin year over year—Casino Queen in East St. Louis—saw a percentage drop that was less than 2%. All in all, even this dip was seen to be better than what most people were expecting and, as a whole, half-decent overall.
Though you may be led to believe that there were all sorts of promotions and deals coinciding with the holidays that might have been enough to drive up traffic, such was not the case. Instead, there is a much more simplistic answer. The month of December had 5 weekends in it. With 5 weekends, 2 of which were holidays, there was one more opportunity for casinos to accrue traffic this year than there was the year before. This alone was enough to see the casinos rake in the cash, and customers.
The news wasn’t all good in Missouri, however, because as a state the performance of casinos from December of 2015 to the one that just passed was slightly worse. Missouri casinos as a whole saw .2% less money this year than the year before. Though this is not a huge drop overall, Kansas City casinos saw an almost 4.5% drop in gross receipts. Casinos just over the river in Illinois did not fare much better, having lost about 5% in gross receipts year over year. This just goes to show that the performance of casinos is a fickle statistic. Even though one region of a state may see its casino industry thrive, another may fall off completely. There are so many factors that go into these statistics that we cannot even begin to delve into them due to lack of time. As a whole, however, the gambling industry in the United States is not going anywhere anytime soon, and seem to be doing better and better with each passing year.