JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi, which has built much of its marketing for more than a decade around being the third largest gaming destination in the country, lost that title in 2009 to Indiana.
The state slipped to fourth place in terms of adjusted gross revenues from commercial gaming. In 2009, Mississippi reported $2.46 billion to Indiana’s $2.58 billion. The numbers exclude charitable gaming and Native American casinos.
Mississippi casinos got roughly the same number of visitors in 2009 as they did the previous year, but people are spending less, said Beverly Martin, executive director of the Mississippi Casino Operators Association.
Though Indiana has far fewer state-licensed casinos — 13 to Mississippi’s 30 — it has a much larger demographic base to pull from with cities like Chicago and Indianapolis within driving distance of its properties.
Indiana’s reign may not last more than a year. It faces new competition from Ohio and possibly Kentucky and industry watchers think Pennsylvania may be poised to move up.
Nevada and New Jersey continued to hold the top spots in 2009, reporting $9.76 billion and $3.9 billion respectively.