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Reeves to announce casino reopening plans ‘sooner rather than later’

Gov. Tate Reeves announced Tuesday he and his administration are continuing to develop a plan that would allow Mississippi casinos to reopen, with the Memorial Day weekend as a target date for reopenings.

Reeves, during a press conference Tuesday said he did not feel any pressure to allow casinos to open sooner after Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Louisiana casinos would be allowed to reopen Monday.

“I am sure he is looking at his data, just as we are looking at our data,” Reeves said, adding another governor’s decision would not and has not weighed on any of his decisions. “I will say that you will hear from us on our plans to reopen casinos sooner rather than later.”

Edwards announced over the weekend that a number of business sectors within Louisiana would be allowed to reopen beginning later this week.

The statewide order, effective Friday, allows restaurants and coffee shops to reopen with limited inside seating and table service. Barbers and salons can resume color services and cuts. Museums, zoos, aquariums and movie theaters can also resume operations, and on Monday, gamblers will be allowed to return to casinos and video poker sites. But none can exceed 25 percent of capacity.

The Mississippi Gaming Commission closed all Mississippi casinos on March 16, which, in the case of Vicksburg and Warren County, has had a huge negative impact on the city’s budget, but also local unemployment figures. Locally, the casino industry employees thousands of area residents who have since had to file for unemployment.

Vicksburg is home to four casinos: Ameristar, Lady Luck, Riverwalk and WaterView.