All casinos ordered to close no later than midnight
Published 4:32 pm Monday, March 16, 2020
The Mississippi Gaming Commission has ordered all casino operations in the state closed, a move not seen since Hurricane Katrina.
In the order, casinos were set to close no later than midnight Monday and remain closed indefinitely. This order is in response to the ongoing threat posed by the spread of COVID-19.
“Continuation of casino operations poses an immediate threat to the public peace, health, safety, and general welfare of patrons and employees of the subject establishments,” the commission’s emergency order states.
Ameristar Casino and Hotel General Manager Gerad Hardy said the closure was “unprecedented,” adding the order also involves any hotel reservations at casino hotels.
“At this point, I would say that it is unprecedented and we will work diligently to comply with the order,” Hardy said. “We were told they would be evaluating the closure as they go.”
Hardy added even though the casino and hotel operations would close, there would be some employees still working.
“We have to maintain minimum levels of staffing per regulatory regulations,” he said. “Trying to make the best decisions we can with the information that we have.”
The commission in their order said the closures were for the public’s safety.
“Emergency measures are necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, and general welfare,” the order stated.
Messages left with Riverwalk, Waterview and Lady Luck casinos have not been returned.