(Tunica, MS) Full parking lots mean full pockets for Tunica Casinos. Unfortunately for them, there are several vacant spots this holiday.
Gambling revenue in Mississippi has fallen every single month but one over the past year.
Industry experts say Tunica is being hit because of increased competition right across the river in Arkansas.
In July, state gambling revenues dropped almost $200 million compared to last summer.
That’s just 75 percent of what was brought in during the summer of 2007.
William Horvatt is a Diamond member at Horseshoe, and loves to visit from Arizona often to gamble. He’s noticed a change over the past years.
“They’re not as many people going for one, and that’s why your machines don’t kick off and they have expenses too,” said Horvatt.
Horvatt frequents Vegas and Reno and says he’s also noticed a decline there and believes it could be because of the economy, because fewer people have extra money to spend.
Tony Tolaney is in from Hawaii and has never been to Tunica before this Labor Day, and he’s a little more use to gambling in bigger cities.
“You’ve got 500 places within so many blocks and all of these are more spread out over however many miles,” said Tolaney.
Tunica casinos are doing a little better than the state average as a whole.
Tunica Revenue for its busy time of the year was down just 4 percent compared to the state’s 6 percent.