After Poor January, MO Casinos Rebound To Win $157 Million In February

Written By Hill Kerby on March 20, 2024
A picture of a man rebounding for a story about how Missouri's casino industry rebounded in February.

After a troubling start to 2024, Missouri Casinos returned to form in February.

According to a report from the Missouri Gaming Commission, the state’s 13 riverboat casinos generated nearly $157 million in gaming revenue for the month. The figures represent a significant rebound and 15.9% gain from January’s $135.4 million.

February casino revenue increased by $204,825 from February 2023, representing a 0.1% year-over-year gain. As a result, casinos contributed nearly $33 million in state taxes, a 16% increase month-over-month.

Casino admissions increased month-over-month by 15.3%, reaching 2.315 million. However, they fell 2% shy of the 2.371 million admissions in February 2023.

Some casinos up, others down year over year

All 13 of Missouri’s casinos are licensed by the Missouri Gaming Commission as riverboat gambling operations. Residents of the Show Me State have no access to land-based casinos, Missouri online gambling, or sports betting.

Four casinos generated adjusted gross revenue totals above $15 million in February. Two showed year-over-year gains, and the other two showed declines.

  • Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles: $23.9 million (-5.8% YoY)
  • Hollywood Casino & Hotel St. Louis: $20.7 million (+6.8% YoY)
  • River City Casino Hotel: $20.4 million (-1.8% YoY)
  • Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City: $16.9 million (+6.4% YoY)

Another four casinos had AGRs above $10 million. Of those four, only Bally’s Kansas City Casino showed YoY gains. Bally’s is amidst a $40 million retail and dining expansion that will add nearly 36,000 square feet to the property and should finish this fall.

  • Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa: $13.7 million (-2% YoY)
  • Harrah’s Kansas City: $13.6 million (-0.7% YoY)
  • Horseshoe St. Louis: $12.3 million (-2.1% YoY)
  • Bally’s Casino Kansas City: $11.2 million (+8.8% YoY)

The final five casinos all generated at least $3 million:

  • Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Boonville: $7.1 million (-7.4% YoY)
  • Century Casino Caruthersville: $4.1 million (+4% YoY)
  • Century Casino Cape Girardeau: $5.8 million (-5.3% YoY)
  • St. Jo Frontier Casino: $4.3 million (+3.7% YoY)
  • Mark Twain Casino: $3.1 million (+0.1% YoY)

Casino revenue behind record FY 2023 pace

Including February, Missouri casinos have generated $1.2 billion in revenue during the 2024 fiscal year. That number is $17.6 million (-1.4%) off the pace from FY 2023, which had $1.26 billion a year ago.

FY 2023 ended with a record-setting $1.92 billion in AGR, a slight improvement from FY 2022’s $1.905 billion.

Through eight months of FY 2024, Missouri casinos have stayed on pace with the previous year’s record other than January, which was an outlier month. They’re also slightly ahead of FY 2022’s $1.24 billion year-to-date mark.

Of course, all 12 months of the year count. In other words, operators need to make up the lost ground to spring a new record.

Month FY 2024 FY 2023 FY 2022
July $168,470,950 $169,382,507 $167,367,505
August $156,384,480 $160,984,387 $152,625,525
September $158,565,723$157,819,191$152,118,832
October $150,480,189 $154,379,639 $160,040,459
November $147,612,440$149,795,920 $151,804,070
December $169,052,926 $157,685,292 $163,322,744
January $135,435,436$153,709,974$145,488,942
February $156,997,100 $156,792,275 $145,776,717
April $167,106,971$172,249,133
May $160,954,587$163,539,411
June $155,007,981$151,580,184
TOTAL $1,242,999,244 $1,920,451,470 $1,904,658,400

Momentum continues growing for Missouri sports betting

Casinos may have set a revenue record in FY 2023, but recent data suggest their earnings have hit a plateau. This is somewhat expected since Missouri’s casino industry has remained unchanged since 2012.

Legislators have failed to legalize Missouri sports betting over the last three years. Fans in the state’s western half have watched their beloved Kansas City Chiefs win two Super Bowls in a row without the means to legally wager on the Big Game.

Four new sports betting bills are now on the table in the 2024 Missouri legislative session, bringing hope that this year could get different results.

If not, residents could legalize sports betting at the polls this November through a ballot initiative backed by the state’s pro sports franchises. The PAC in charge of the day-to-day operations is already more than halfway to the 180,000 required signatures for ballot access this fall.

If state legislators can’t finish the job this spring, voters can take the matter into their own hands in the fall.

Photo by PlayMissouri
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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby is a proponent of safe, legal betting, and is grateful to be able to contribute to growing the industry. He has a background in poker, sports, and psychology, all of which he incorporates into his writing.

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