Las Vegas will always be thought of as the real money casino gambling capital of the world. This was one of the first and most successful casino towns in the United States. Atlantic City, New Jersey joined the mix in the early 1980s and its fortunes over the years have been like a roller-coaster ride on the famous AC Boardwalk. An upturn this past summer with the opening of two shuttered casino properties has this coastal gambling town back on track.
The Tunica region of Mississippi was another casino town that enjoyed an early boom. However, recent fortunes paint the present and future as rather bleak. In a Los Angeles Times piece by Jenny Jarvie, the discuss the current business climate in Tunica.
So, Do Tunica casinos Still Have The Best Casino In Mississippi?
Tunica casinos were once heralded as the best casino in Misssissippi. There was a gleaming high-rise tower along with an Irish castle and art deco movie house that symbolized the successful launch of casino gambling in this area. Rising up among the cotton and rice fields in the most impoverished areas of the country, the boom brought tourists, money, and jobs to the Mississippi Delta region.
Five years ago, Harrah’s pulls the plug on Tunica’s largest casino gambling property. However, The Las Vegas entertainment giant cites a ‘glut in the market’ as the primary reason for closing the casino down. More recently, the Tunica Roadhouse announces it will close its doors later this year. This would leave just seven casinos open for business in the region.
Tunica Casinos Were Third In Line After Atlantic City And Las Vegas
During its heyday starting in the 1990s, Tunica is the third-biggest casino gambling market in the US. Furthermore, Las Vegas hotels on the strip and Atlantic City Hotels on boardwalk are the front-runners. Over time, more casino venues in other areas start to bring in revenue. For example, New Orleans and Chicago. When they open their doors, revenue drains out of Tunica’s gambling halls. At its peak, casinos employe close to 12,000 workers. These days, that figure is closer to 4,000.
There are roughly 10,000 full-time residents in Tunica, which is located about 30 miles southwest of Memphis, TN. Once the most impoverished region in the country, it is reported that 29 percent of the county’s residents are still living below the poverty level.
The Best Casino In Mississippi May Be The Tunica Roadhouse?
The continued decline in the area is highlighted by the shuttered Harrah’s property with weeds replacing an 18-hole golf course. The neglect is also sprawled across the former convention center and three resort hotels. A complex of national chain restaurants and a high-end outlet mall have been replaced with a flea market, discount stores, and a pawnshop. This only further highlights the decline. Total casino revenue has dropped from $1.66 billion at its peak in 2006 to $885 million as reported in 2017.
In an effort to turn the tide in Tunica’s favor, future development plans are in place. These include a water park for the old Harrah’s property, a large wind farm and a $90 million mixed-use complex in the eastern part of the county. Only time will tell where Tunica casinos and their gambling industry goes from here. However, it will still be hard to re-stake their claim as the best casinos in Mississippi.
• Source: After boom, chips down in casino-betting Tunica From Arkansasonline.com On January 27, 2019.