2022 Southern Gaming Summit to Take Place May 3-6 in Biloxi

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:

With the gaming industry continuing to thrive in Mississippi, the Southern Gaming Summit 2022 has announced it will be hosting its event at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi May 3-6.

One of the oldest gaming conference and trade shows, the Southern Gaming Summit is owned by the Mississippi Gaming & Hospitality Association (MGHA), guaranteeing a conference “of the industry, by the industry, about the industry.” Founded in 1994, the regional conference and trade show addresses issues of importance to commercial and tribal gaming in the south and the Midwest, bringing decision makers to the beautiful Gulf Coast of Mississippi.

“It’s been quite the ride over the years, but we have more than just survived, we have prospered,” said Allen Godfrey, a career state employee who served as Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission for over 10 years during the run of those drastic ups and downs. “Since we reopened after COVID, every month is better than the month before. We’re knocking on the door of generating the kind of numbers that have never been seen here before. It’s amazing to be a small part of it all.”

The state's casino industry bounced back from Covid-19 closures and restrictions in 2021.  According to the state Department of Revenue figures, the Mississippi casino industry brought in an all-time high of almost $2.7 billion in 2021, with casinos on the coast – like the Beau, Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Biloxi, Palace Casino Resort, Harrah's Gulf Coast, and IP Casino Resort and Spa – hauling in over $1.6 billion alone. In 2020, due to COVID, the overall number for the state was just under $1.8 billion, the lowest since 1995.

“We continue to thrive in Mississippi and that’s a testament to all of the exciting new businesses that are popping up all over the place and to the casino operators who continue to reinvest in their properties,” Godfrey said.

“We always say that once we get you here, we’re going to get you back,” said Brandon Dardeau, the newly appointed MGM Resorts International President and Chief Operating Officer of Southeast Operations, which includes Beau Rivage and Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica. “We have so much to offer. It’s affordable and the people here are sometimes our best sales tool because they are friendly and welcoming. The lion's share of our business at the Beau is repeat visitors and most of them are coming from more than 300 miles away. That pretty much sums it up.”

Following a 2018 ruling by the US Supreme Court to overturn a sports betting ban outside the state of Nevada, Mississippi was the first state along with New Jersey to begin offering sports gambling.  Mississippi only allows mobile bets from casino properties.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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