Four Missouri casinos saw their adjusted gross revenue drop 5.7 percent, to $608 million in 2013, year-end numbers released by the state show. And that means the Missouri state government and the casinos’ host cities are adjusting to the pinch of declining gambling revenue.
It has required careful budgeting in small cities, such as Riverside and North Kansas City, where a casino can provide 30 percent to 40 percent of revenue. And even for the Missouri state government, it’s still a shift from the recession years, when casino tax revenue was a tiny bright spot, holding steady or even increasing while sales and income taxes slumped.
But now that has reversed, and state gaming taxes from Missouri’s 13 casinos were down $10 million in the previous fiscal year, to $366.4 million. That’s not huge in a state budget of around $23 billion, especially when much larger revenue sources such as income and sales taxes are rebounding. But last week Missouri budget director Linda Luebbering noted that revenues from casinos, cigarette sales and the lottery all are coming in lower than expected this budget year, which started last July 1.