Gulf Coast Casinos have long been able to attract customers with the promise of cheap seafood. For years, the casinos have been able to draw in people with seafood buffets, offering all you can eat for a very reasonable price. The hope, of course, was that some of the visitors who came for the buffets would head over to the casino floor.
Gulf Coast Casinos Crab Strategy
For a long time, the strategy worked. Many customers who arrived at Gulf Coast Casinos, in Mississippi, to enjoy the seafood, especially Dungeness crab, found their way onto the casino floor. However, things aren’t looking so good anymore as decreased supply, and an increase in demand, are forcing costs up. This has caused some seafood buffets to stop operating completely. Other Gulf Coast Casinos have started to limit the days they offer crab at their buffets, while also starting to increase the price.
Reports have come out from within some of these casinos that the price of crab has risen from $5 a pound to $8.45. This increase happened over the course of just two months. Unsurprisingly, some of this 69% price increase is going to have to be passed on to customers.
Palace Casino has increased the price of the buffet by $2, to $29, while other casinos have a different plan. Some casinos have lowered the price of the buffets for people who are not eating crab. Then, if a customer wants crab, they can buy a pound of Snow or Dungeness crab for $5, or 2 pounds for $9.
Supply and Demand at the Heart of Problem for Gulf Coast Casinos
The reasons for the price increases are simply down to supply and demand. The recent hurricane that devastated the region has not affected pricing yet, but it will likely be coming. The real issue is that recent crab harvests have been lower than usual. Last year’s Alaskan Dungeness crab harvest was the lowest in 30 years, at just 1.3 million pounds. This compared to the average of 2.7 million. Couple this with an increase in demand from China and Japan, you have a recipe for price increases.
However, none of this is going to make your average customer who has travelled to one of the Gulf Coast Casinos for gambling and crab feel any better.