Even before sports betting has a chance to bring in new customers, before the summer tourists arrive and a new casino opens at Island View, Coast casinos are on a roll.
April's gross casino revenue at the 12 Coast casinos hit an all-time high — even higher than the record year of 2007 when volunteers and contractors flooded the Coast and the casinos after Hurricane Katrina and revenue for the year topped $1.3 billion.
Mississippi Department of Revenue reported late Friday revenue of $108.6 million at the casinos in South Mississippi. That's 9 percent higher than the $99.2 million in April 2017. It's also $1.4 million higher than the $107.2 million in April 2007.
This puts Coast casinos up to $407 million year to date, compared to $404 million at this time last year.
The river casinos saw revenue in April fall 0.9 percent to $74.8 million, from 75.5 million a year ago.
Mississippi's total casino revenue increased by 5 percent, rising to $184 million from $175 million in April 2017.
Mississippi is moving to become one of the first states to offer sports betting, releasing regulations just three days after the U.S. Supreme struck down the 25-year ban on sports betting. Coast casinos could start taking sports bets in mid-July if the Mississippi Gaming Commission quickly approves the regulations, which is expected to swell future gross gaming revenue.