Gambling industry footing up losses as Mississippi casinos heavy damaged by Katrina

On Sunday, The Mississippi Gaming Commission shut down all 12 casinos operating on the Gulf Coast before Katrina hit.

Harrah's Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman told Bloomberg News that its riverboat Grand Casino in Biloxi, Miss., is likely "a complete loss" after it separated from its moorings. The casino was "literally taken across the street and plopped down about a block or so away from where it normally sits," he said. Harrah's Grand Casino in Gulfport was also "severely" damaged, he said.

In a statement, MGM Mirage said its Beau Rivage casino in Biloxi sustained "significant damage."

Video footage has shown a number of riverboat casinos sitting on roadways and Interstate highways. State law prohibits developing land-based casinos, reports USA Today.

According to Reuters, each 10-day closure would cut earnings at these companies by 1 cent to 2 cents per share, although early indications are that business could remain depressed for several months and some casinos could be permanently closed, Hausler said.

The casinos are, however, covered by property and business interruption insurance.

Wyomissing, Pennsylvania-based Penn National said it has not yet been able to assess damage at its two casinos in St. Louis and Biloxi. The company’s Rouge Casino in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has reopened, according to spokeswoman Amanda Garber.

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