Bridge to West Memphis Reopens Leading to Southland Casino Racing’s Business Growth

Bridge to West Memphis Reopens Leading to Southland Casino Racing's Business Growth

A casino in Arkansas has bounced back to business following the renovation of the bridge connecting the region to West Memphis. Last month, the casino, Southland Casino Racing, generated more revenue than it did in July. This is because the bridge connecting the casino’s home city to the rest of Memphis, Tennessee, was closed for renovation.

According to the Arkansas Racing Commission, the casino generated over $21 million in August. In the previous month, Southland Casino Racing generated over $19 million. These revenues are a collection from table games, terminal devices, and a sportsbook.

The noticeable change in revenue collection comes shortly after the bridge connecting Arkansas to Tennessee was opened at the beginning of August. The bridge was shut for three months to complete renovations.

The Bridge

The bridge connecting the two states is a six-lane bridge above the Mississippi River. It was closed on May 11, 2021, after an inspector discovered a mechanical fracture in a key support beam during a routine inspection. As a busy freight-carry bridge, the closure affected business in the surrounding regions.

On the last day of July, the bridge leading to eastbound traffic was opened, while the westbound lanes into West Memphis became operational two days later, on August 2.

Memphis Is a Crucial Market

There are no legal land-based casinos in Tennessee. Thus, players from the state cross the bridge to Southland casino and dog track to address their needs.

Terminals at Southland made the most money for the casino, with a whopping $19.3 million last month and almost $18 million in July. The casino’s sportsbook handle in August was $1.3 million compared to $1.08 million in July.

The gaming tables and sportsbooks did not perform as well in August as they did in July. The gaming table generated $108,660 less and $125,539 less in sportsbooks than the previous month’s.

While the money collected in August was greater than July’s, it was below $4.09 million at Southland in October 2020. This was a month earlier, before the legalization of mobile sports wagering in Tennessee. Unfortunately, there is no legal mobile sports betting in Arkansas.

Arkansas’s Other Two Casinos Dropped in Revenue Generation

Two other commercial casinos in the state also made some money, but not as much as they did in July. The Oaklawn Racing Resort in Hot Springs had an income of $10.98 million for August and $13.4 million for July. Sports betting, table games, and terminals did not meet previously generated revenue.

Terminal devices saw the most significant loss. In July, terminal devices at Oaklawn generated $12.2 million and $9.9 million in August. The casino is situated 60 minutes southwest of the capital city, Little Rock.

The other commercial casino, Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, also won less in August than July. The casino got $12.1 million, $2 million less than that of July.

The total win on table games was less, while terminal devices earnings were less than $2 million in August. The casino’s sportsbook performed the best. The handle collected by the sportsbook increased from $557,773 in July to $580,104 last month.

After subtracting players’ winning, the sportsbooks remained with a profit of $118,929 in August, much more than July’s $91,761. Pine Bluff is 45 minutes away from the south of Little Rock.

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