Harrah’s Tunica Casino Has A Ghostlike Feel One Year After Closing
The casino industry in the United States went through a turbulent 2014 as a number of casinos fought hard to post profits, while others were forced to acknowledge a steep decline in revenue and make a decision whether to continue to forge ahead despite heavy losses or to wind up operations and shutdown their casino.
Four casinos in Atlantic City made the decision to shut down their operations and close their casinos.
Harrah’s Tunica Casino in Mississippi faced similar issues with a decline in customers and a drop in revenues.
The casino which was owned by Caesars Entertainment was forced to shutdown operations in 2014 as its parent company has filed for bankruptcy and was unable to sustain Tunica. The casino was forced to sack over 1,300 casino employees in 2014 and lock up its premises.
Over a year has passed since then and the casino still remains closed and the property is yet to be sold. The casino which once bustled with life and business now remains empty and has a ghostlike feel to it with no one around. The 1300 Tunica casino employees found it very difficult to get a new job as the casino industry in the United States was going through a rough patch and very few casinos were willing to hire.
Tunica County Administrator, Michael Thompson stated that it was hard to see the iconic Tunica casino which operated for over 20 years suddenly shut its doors. Thompson said it was even more difficult to see the property just remain idle and not be developed or used.
In a statement, Thompson said
In the next couple of months they will be dismantling the five barges, that large casino, and of course all of that property. And the value of that will no longer be on our tax rolls. We will see a significant decrease in our assessed property value to the tune of $15 million. The casino industry is going in transition here in Tunica County. We still have eight casinos. We still have a vibrant dense population of casinos and the ability for people to come and enjoy themselves and gamble.
The Tunica Chamber of Commerce applied and received a federal grant of $2 million which they used to re-train these 1,300 casino employees and provide them with a new set of skills that would allow them to cross-over to another industry and find a job.
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