Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Casinos Booming in Katrinas Wake

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU
RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 10:13 PM
Original message
Source: NY Times

This seaside gambling resort along a stretch of the Gulf Coast, sometimes called the redneck Riviera, has 40 percent fewer hotel rooms and only two-thirds as many slot machines as it did before Hurricane Katrina. A major bridge that connects the casinos in this popular tourist destination to Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and other points east remains closed, and Mayor A. J. Holloway estimates that as many as 15 percent of the citys pre-Katrina residents still have not returned.

Yet business in the gambling halls of Biloxi has reached all-time highs in recent months, so much so that Larry Gregory, the executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, has half-jokingly barred his staff from uttering the phrase record-setting because it was becoming too redundant.

A similar story has been unfolding in New Orleans, where tourism is still in the doldrums and only 60 percent of the pre-Katrina population has returned nearly two years after the hurricane and flooding devastated the area.

Indeed, the casinos there seem to be faring even better than their Gulf Coast cousins.

Harrahs New Orleans, the largest casino in the city, is on pace for its best year ever: gambling revenue is up 13.6 percent through the first five months of 2007 compared with the same period in 2005, pre-Katrina.

Read more:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. My parents loved the casinos
Their house in Biloxi on the gulf just disappeared into the ocean during Katrina. Nothing was left except the mailbox. No rubble, no nothing. They would go and eat the free food at the casinos and gamble on the nickel slots. Dad died in Jan and mom lives in Fl near us now. I am glad some places are getting in some revenue.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:27 AM
Response to Original message
2. So many desperate people in the Gulf States....
betting what little they have left on a chance to "hit it big" in the casinos. It certainly isn't because they've acquired more disposable income lately. Their insurance checks, FEMA aid and every other source of income is going directly to the casinos who perpetually advertise how many "big winners" they've had who've changed their lives around by hitting the jackpot. Many of these people are literally "betting the house" that they'll find a quick and easy way out of their misfortune.

And the casino industry rakes it in, once again prospering from the misery and misfortune of others. Ain't America great? :eyes:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
youngdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I dunno about all of that
There are LOTS of people in the storm zone that have more income than they ever had. If you are willing to work, it is very hard not to make a lot more than you did before. There is just a ton of demand for skilled (and even unskilled) labor. I am making about double what I was before the storm (work for a developer of affordable housing).

MANY are from out of town, from regions where they don't have gambling, and they come here, earn good money, and there still isn't a lot to do, even here in New Orleans. I can just imagine how boring it must be to live and work in post-Katrina Biloxi.

I am sure many people have used their insurance checks for gambling, but it is their money, so who am I to say anything. I can tell you that the Casinos are a big tourist draw, employ lots of people at decent wages, and offer benefits in an age and region where that is a rarity.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. they've really been a blessing, those who made the commitment to come back
the casinos were not allowed to take any gov't/fema type help to rebuild, it was all their own decision to come back and continue to participate in the economy

they've been a real help by committing to the community even after the disastrous storms, if all had taken their insurance money and run away north like casino magic/biloxi -- it would have been impossible to rebuild -- the jobs and opportunity provided by this industry are too important to the gulf coast

in my observation of the new gambling "boom," a lot of the new $$$ comes from lonely male construction workers whose families might be elsewhere or who are single and don't have families and so they follow storms to go where the good work is, i've spoken to a number of (especially) men who have told me bluntly that they are earning more money than ever before in their lives

one man last year, i think he said he was 80!, said he had retired as a contractor before the storm, but now "they are paying me too much" so he couldn't pass on the opportunity to make good $$$ and also help w. the rebuilding effort

it was just noticeable to me that there were so many more single men or men in groups, as opposed to buses of little old ladies and couples from florida, but i think this explains where a lot of the extra $$$ are coming from -- people working hard, earning more than ever before in their lives, just blowing off a little steam and having fun

the change in the ip is indeed remarkable -- the spa, the hoity toity steakhouse in the sky, the brazil restaurant, the "chill" martini type lounge -- it's actually a nice place to go now instead of a "busload of little old ladies" joint

plus the hard rock just opened, haven't seen it yet, hope to report back soon

this industry really is to be commended for its continued support of the gulf coast, it would have been easy to say "fuck this, we can build casinos anywhere now, let's take it north," but most of them returned and supported the communities -- hard rock especially was not even open for a single day before katrina, i think they were scheduled to open like 3 days after the storm hit, so they had never seen a dollar from the gulf coast but they picked up and built back up and now they're here
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Jan 20th 2018, 01:10 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC