Ten Gulf Coast Casinos to Open by September
Ten casinos are expected to be back in business on the Mississippi Gulf Coast by this fall, according to the executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
"Come September or October we'll be about at the level where we were before Hurricane Katrina," said Larry Gregory, executive director of the Gaming Commission. Before the Aug. 29 storm crashed ashore, 12 Casinos on the Gulf Coast employed 15,000 people, he said. Employment is expected to be at 13,000 when 10 casinos are open, he said.
Already open are IP, Isle of Capri, New Palace, Treasure Bay and Boomtown, all in Biloxi.
Grand Casino Biloxi is slated to reopen in mid-August; Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Aug. 29; Island View in Gulfport, September; Hollywood in Bay St. Louis, mid-September; and Silver Slipper in Waveland in October. Not returning to the market are Casino Magic in Biloxi and Copa Casino in Gulfport.
Harrah's Entertainment plans to take over what's left of Casino Magic in Biloxi and incorporate the property in plans for Grand Casino Biloxi. The business partners who operated Copa Casino purchased Grand Casino Gulfport and are opening it as the Island View.
Dan McDaniel, a Jackson gaming lawyer, said one thing is for certain: All the casinos will be better than what was there before Katrina. "Every single one," he said. McDaniel credits two things with giving the gaming industry incentive to rebuild.