Casinos Talk Tropical Storm Gordon

At 7:45 Wednesday morning, the Gaming Commission of South Mississippi sent out a notice saying Coast casinos could open back up after a mandatory shutdown issued at 5 p.m. Tuesday in preparation for Tropical Storm Gordon.

After the notice was sent out, casino officials were hard at work to get their floors back open. The gaming commission sends out an agent to every casino when a mandatory shutdown happens. These agents go through a thorough checklist before a casino can open back up.

The Beau Rivage in Biloxi had a long line of over 100 people waiting to get on the floor when they opened up at 11 a.m.

Eric Newton, the executive director of security at the Beau Rivage, tells News 25 the last time they had to close like this was last October when Hurricane Nate hit the Coast. “People had been in their rooms or in the restaurants and so there was some built up energy. They were excited to get going and so there was a good crowd waiting to get in and get started.”

Newton says they are always in a state of readiness. Even though Tropical Storm Gordon wasn’t as large as they expected it to be, they wanted to stay prepared for the worst. “This one, it wasn’t so serious of a storm so we were able to just close just the casino portion, but we kept the hotel and a couple of the restaurants and the stores open. So, it was a lot better situation for us.”

Over in D’Iberville, the Scarlet Pearl had their casino floor back up and running at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday morning. They said they were able to reopen so quickly because they were well prepared. Scarlet Pearl CEO LuAnn Pappas said, “We do have to be respectful of what it takes to be able to shut a place down, get it open, but be mindful of getting it all done before there are mandatory evacuations or curfews like last night. We were prepared. We know what we have to do the night before in order to insure a seamless process when we open.”

Local gamers and those staying in the casinos were said to be very understanding with the shutdown due to the storm. Now, they are free to gamble.

Categories: Featured, Harrison County, Local News, News

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