Mississippi, which has built much of its marketing for more than a decade around being the third-largest gambling destination in the country, lost that title in 2009 to Indiana (Associated Press). Mississippi slipped to fourth place in terms of adjusted gross revenue from commercial gambling. In 2009, Mississippi reported $2.46 billion to Indiana’s $2.58 billion. The numbers exclude charitable gaming and American Indian casinos.

Mississippi casinos got roughly the same number of visitors in 2009 as they did the previous year, but people are spending less, said Beverly Martin, executive director of the Mississippi Casino Operators Association.

“Convention and visitors bureaus are likely to continue touting Mississippi casinos as a reason to visit, but it won’t have the same ring as being in the top three,” Martin said.

Ernest Yelton, executive director of the Indiana Gaming Commission, said, “the state’s casino industry has generally focused on the amount of tax dollars paid and jobs provided by the casinos – not overall gross receipts.”

“I’m not sure what the significance is,” he said. “We don’t spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to other jurisdictions. It’s an interesting fact, I guess.” – Howey Politics Indiana

The Indiana Conference offers help for compulsive gamblers through its related Gambling Recovery Ministry headed by the Rev. Jan Jacobs. Check out GRM at www.grmumc.org. This ministry is funded in part by the Indiana Conference tithe through each United Methodist congregation in Indiana.