Gaming Commission executive director gives coast casino industry high marks
BILOXI, Mississippi (WLOX) – The Gulf Coast gaming industry is doing well, according to the executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. He’s also encouraged by April’s best results ever, and he thinks there is more honey in the hive.
Allen Godfrey’s rating on the Gulf Coast Games couldn’t be better.
“A +,” Godfrey said. “Very strong. Very strong.”
And he told those who gathered at the Mississippi Coast Chamber of Commerce presentation Thursday that we may not see the last of the type of revenue reported in April.
“I think in talking to the operators, we feel like the momentum continues to move forward,” Godfrey said. “I think you’re going to see that the numbers for May are going to be just as strong.”
And he said it was because of a progressive attitude.
“Oh, I think that’s really a testament to the owners and those who manage the property,” Godfrey said. “You just have to go up and down the hill and look at what their building, what they add. They reinvest, continually refresh. What they have to offer here we can compete with anywhere in the country.
And he said there will be challenges beyond a pandemic and hurricanes. One will be a pain before it is a blessing.
One of the biggest amenities on the horizon and one of the biggest challenges right now is a mobile gaming app that would be operated by licensed casinos. Right now, that is not happening in Mississippi. In fact, it is one of the main sources of illegal gambling in the state.
“This affects the properties in that the money doesn’t get to them that might otherwise get to them, especially if you had a mobile app for sports betting,” Godfrey said.
Jonathan Jones, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah’s Gulf Coast, loves the idea of the app.
“We’re focusing on the things we can control, and I think the mobile app would be good,” he said. “That would expose us to a new group of guests and then it would be our challenge to market them and communicate to them the value proposition that we have in our properties and invite them to have a great time with us.”
And Jones also likes the position Coast Gaming is in right now.
“We are doing very well,” he said. “Really, really proud of the whole industry. The market has been very busy. It is a great place to be and we are delighted to be here.
Copyright 2021 WLOX. All rights reserved.