The Hard Rock opens its casino floor for the first time May 21, 2020, since closing its doors in March. Photo: (Alyssa Newton/Sun Herald)

Mississippi casinos posted their highest ever combined gross gaming revenue for June, as they continue to consistently beat their pre-pandemic records.

The state’s casinos reported about $2.47 million in gross gaming revenue in June, just ahead of last month’s total, according to the state Gaming Commission. 

The casinos have reported a 23% increase in gross revenue so far this year compared to the same period in 2019. 

Mississippi casinos reported $1.8 billion in gross gaming revenue in 2020, which included the roughly two months they were forced to shut down. In 2019, when the casinos operated as normal, that figure was $2.2 billion.

Mississippi casinos, with the Gulf Coast leading the surge, are on pace to have the highest gross gaming revenue this year since they began operating in the 1990s. 

Gross gaming revenue — the amount of money players wager minus what they win — is similar to traditional businesses’ sales figures. The gaming revenue numbers do not account for the cost of doing business, which have also been rising.

Casinos and resorts have been struggling to attract workers, with some raising wages to fill jobs from housekeepers to table game dealers. At the same time, the costs of some food and beverage items have increased due to the pandemic’s supply chain disruptions. 

Local tourism leaders and casino operators have attributed the growth in gross gaming revenue to an increase in visitors to the Gulf Coast. Casino also reopened and advertised their COVID-19 safety measures sooner than movie theaters and other entertainment venues.

READ MORE: Mississippi casinos are setting revenue records, outpacing pre-COVID numbers

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