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Boomtown Casino Refurbishes Gambling Barge

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Boomtown, a favorite casino for locals, also has a loyal clientele from Florida. Most of the people at the very front of the line for the casino's reopening Thursday morning were from the Sunshine State. Abel and Jean Koren drove six hours from Apalachicola Bay to be there. They planned to gamble, then take something "big and sweet" from the bakery back home.

Harry and Edna Andes from Old Town, Fla. were already in town and decided to stay over another night to be on hand for the reopening. The gambling casino's general manager, Pat Murphy, stood just inside the entrance, smiling and greeting people after the doors opened at 10:10 a.m. There were no big changes in the layout of the casino, except for the absence of the Family Fun Center, a children's arcade and baby-sitting service. Boomtown will use the space for more slot machines and a new restaurant.

Rep. Bobby Moak, the chairman of the House Gaming Committee, and Larry Gregory, the executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, watched the preparations leading up to the reopening. Boomtown, which has no hotel, refurbished its gambling barge and installed all-new slot machines. The casino has 1,000 slots and 22 table games.

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