Mississippi’s Silver Slipper Reopening Sees More Memorial Day Action Than Last Year

Posted on May 28, 2020 - Last Updated on May 27, 2020

They say if the shoe fits, wear it. The Silver Slipper Casino in Bay St Louis, MS, was a great fit for many over the past few days. That’s according to a press release from the casino’s parent company, Full House Resorts and Casinos.

Although the figures are still raw, they showed an increase of nearly 13% on win compared to the same time frame in 2019. For casino operators all over the country, that’s good news.

Numbers from Silver Slipper’s reopening weekend

The increase in win is most impressive, given the restrictions at the casino. Restaurants operated at just 50% of capacity and only 392 of the casino’s 855 slots machines were running. Table games ran at 50% of capacity as well.

Like other facilities around Mississippi, employees at the Silver Slipper wore masks. In many ways, it was far from a normal setting on the property.

Those circumstances led to a decrease of guests through the doors of nearly 16% as compared with the same five days, which included Memorial Day weekend last year. The total was 16,739.

The biggest boost came from those 392 slot machines. Win from the slots from May 21 to May 25 totaled over $1.06 million. The same five days in 2019 produced just $947,056 in slots win.

Despite operating at half-capacity, table games pulled their weight as well. The win there totaled $90,792, up slightly from $90,243 the year before.

Because of that, the total win came to over $1.15 million over the five days. For those unfamiliar with the term “win,” in this case, it means the difference between what gamblers wagered and what the casino paid out.

Reading into these numbers presents cause for optimism. The current situation also begs casino operators to be cautious about that positive outlook, however.

Numbers are good news but don’t go overboard

Perhaps the greatest positive takeaway from the numbers is they don’t represent casino operators’ greatest fears. That doesn’t mean everything is rainbows and sunshine, though.

As casinos reopened, they faced two challenges: Making customers feel safe in returning to the properties and then convincing those people to part with their money. There were fears that concerns about contracting COVID-19 and the loss of salary/wages during the pandemic among customers could limit the success of casinos’ relaunches.

These numbers suggest that the Silver Slipper met both of those challenges successfully. Fears that people would shy away from gambling because of the economy and the virus may have been exaggerated.

However, there’s no reason that casino operators elsewhere in Mississippi, much less elsewhere in the country, should expect similar results from their reopenings.

What’s more, there’s no guarantee that the Silver Slipper will sustain this level of business. The holiday weekend and the lure of showing up to support the casino may have inflated these numbers. Five days of business is a very small sample from which to draw any conclusions.

Regardless, these results are better than if the Silver Slipper opened and no one showed up. It suggests that casino patrons are dependable and resilient.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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