Casinos Stay Strong Despite Closing of Margaritaville

Casino development in south Missississpi is showing no signs of slowing down, even with the closing of Margaritaville in Biloxi. That means more jobs are on the way for the Coast.

Autumn Nelson is a Placement Specialist at the Crescent School of Gaming in Gulfport. She says those who have recently lost their jobs at Margaritaville are already on their way to finding employment. Nelson says, "It’s very unfortunate that Margaritaville closed, however I don’t think it will be eliminating any sort of job opportunities in the future. The few dealers that Crescent actually had placed at Margaritaville are already interviewing to be placed at new casinos on the Coast.”

According to Nelson, Margaritaville focused less on table games, so many of the unemployed are in the non-gaming side of the hospitality industry. Nelson also says, "After some research and some personal visitations at Margaritaville, I have seen that most of the employees who unfortunately lost their jobs at Margaritaville were less on the gaming side."

As one door closes, another opens for the recently unemployed. Island View Casino is just one of the properties planning to hire new employees in the near future. Cathy MacKenzie, C.F.O. of Island View Casino, says, "Our market has been very stable and even some growth recently, and of course with our new hotel opening, will be hiring 100 new employees to staff that project."

With the Island View hotel and the Scarlet Pearl in D’Iberville under construction and a possible casino coming to Diamondhead, Nelson says now is a better time than any to get a job in the industry. Nelson says, "Absolutely, placement numbers are very good. I actually think that they are better this year than last year."

Despite the closure of Margaritaville, MacKenzie believes the gaming job market is thriving and is here to stay. She closes, "I think it was a unique situation. I think that over all, the industry on the Gulf Coast has held its own this year, even in the face of additional competition and other outward pressures and I don’t see any reason for that to change."

The Island View Casino will debut its new hotel tower in early spring of 2015.

Categories: Local News, News

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