Mississippi’s ‘pent-up demand’ – Silver Slipper gaming revenue jumps 12.3% on Memorial Day weekend Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · May 27, 2020 at 4:20 pm Maybe there is something about the “pent-up demand” theory for gaming customers coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Full House Resorts Wednesday released preliminary results from the reopening weekend of its Silver Slipper Casino in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, which coincided with the typically busy Memorial Day holiday. Despite state-mandated limitations on customer volume and a reduced number of available slot machines and table game seats due to social distancing, Silver Slipper gaming revenues jumped 12.3% in comparison to the same five days that included Memorial Day weekend a year ago. In a statement, Las Vegas-based Full House cautioned the figures – covering May 21-25 – were preliminary and unaudited, and “may not be indicative” of results for future time periods. Full House CEO Dan Lee said in a text message the “pent-up demand” allowed the company to reopen the hotel, but it was limited to invited guests. “That helped drive the higher win per customer,” Lee said. “Our customers know the Silver Slipper, know that our team has always kept it clean and sanitary, and even more so, of course, today.” Full House said the Silver Slipper, which was ordered closed by state officials on March 17 along with all of Mississippi’s casinos due to coronavirus, reopened last Thursday with just 392 slot machines operating out of 855 total slot machines and with table games each having three seats when the games normally seat six or more. In addition, the Silver Slipper’s restaurant capacity was limited to just 50% under the social distancing guidelines. Still, with casino guests declining 15.9%, total casino revenues topped $1.15 million, compared with $1.02 million over the Memorial Day holiday last year. “Thursday was the second-best Thursday in the property’s 12-year history,” Lee said. “The first-best happened to have fallen on New Year’s Eve. And, I suspect the numbers would have been better if we had more machines open.” Full House said the Silver Slipper is the company’s largest property and accounted for roughly 44% of its total revenues in 2019. “Recognize, of course, that this was just one casino in just one market for just one weekend,” Lee said. “It is, of course, encouraging for the future, but we are still, world-wide, facing unprecedented unemployment and other economic and health challenges. So, it’s very nice to be able to welcome back many of our employees and customers, but we remain cautious in planning for the future.” Full House, which operates five casinos in four states, said it plans to reopen its casinos in Northern Nevada on June 4 after the Governor’s office announced it was ending the state’s gaming industry shutdown. The company expects the Rising Star in Indiana will reopen on June 14 but has not been given an official reopening date by Colorado authorities for Bronco Billy’s in Cripple Creek. Shares of Full House closed Wednesday at $2.03 on the Nasdaq, up 8 cents or 4.10%. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.