Land-Based Casino to Open in Miss.
It was a natural disaster which caused the Gulf Coast of the U.S. to reconsider its former policies towards gambling establishments, after a number of casino boats were washed up on shore due to the fierce winds, rain and flooding associated with Hurricane Katrina. Previously, the status quo was that gambling could take place on boats in the Gulf of Mexico because while these casino boats would bring in tourists, only a limited number – if any – of land-based casinos would be permitted due to the attitude of many in the South that gambling is, for lack of a better word, taboo.
It is being reported by sources in the know that the U.S. state of Mississippi will open the doors on its first land-based casino, the Isle of Capri, next week. The Isle of Capri was the first of the casino boats to open in the waters off of the state, and now it will be the first land-based casino for the state as well – surely, no small cause for pride among the operators of the company. The casino will have more seats in its restaurant than it did in its water-borne incarnation, and over 500 of the over 700 rooms of the hotel portion have already been reserved for the casino’s first weekend.
Previously, in the United States casino facilities could only be located in certain zones, such as Nevada, Atlantic City, or on Indian reservations. Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, though, created the unfortunate situation that led to many workers on the casino boats no longer having a place to work when these ships were washed ashore, severely damaged or sunk. Whether the Isle of Capri will serve as an example – or excuse – for other land-based casinos to open up in areas not affected by Hurricane Katrina and not within Indian reservations remains to be seen.