Date of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Edward Sayre

Committee Chair School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 2

Dr. Robert Pauly

Committee Member 2 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 3

Dr. Tom Lansford

Committee Member 3 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 4

Dr. Joseph St. Marie

Committee Member 4 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Abstract

Casino development and the proliferation of the casino gaming industry has centered on the prevailing issue of economic impact. The purpose of this study was to determine what impact casinos in Mississippi have on the economy of the host communities. In this quantitative descriptive research study, the primary employment, tourism and revenue data were gathered from records provided by the Mississippi Gaming Commission to test the level of change that occurred in the host communities of Mississippi casinos between 2000 and 2015, a period when Mississippi communities experienced severe economic crises due in part to natural diseasters and economic recession. The study specifically looked at gaming revenue pre and post the economic recession; non-gaming entertainment and the impact of policy changes after a natural disaster. Each of the four variables of interest, casino characteristics, characteristics of casinos before and after the US financial meltdown, revenues and finances of casinos before and after the US Financial Meltdown, and operating expenses of casinos before and after the US financial meltdown were examined using descriptive statistics and the paired t-test to examine the differences between the pre and post measures, differences between the pre financial meltdown period and the post financial meltdown period in the operations at the Mississippi casinos. An important finding is the impact the meltdown casinos had on employment in the host gaming communities. Understanding the overall economic impact of casino development in Mississippi and the economic impact on employment, revenue and vulnerability during times of economic unrest and natural disasters is vital.

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