Mississippi tribal casino sportsbook returns stronger than ever
It’s pretty much business as usual for the Pearl River Resort’s sportsbook, which is located near Philadelphia, Mississippi. After many months of being forced to shut down, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians’ run casino is now thriving, exactly as it did before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“When college football came back, followed by the NFL, we had everything going on, and that’s when everything started picking up for us,” stated Director of Sportsbook, Chris Hopwood. “All of the customers started coming back, and it became fun again.”
“Our location at Bok Homa was really busy, and here it slowly started coming back because we’re more of a transient, tourist place, so we get big crowds from Louisiana and Alabama. We were a little slow to start with here, and if you watch our table games or slots, it’s still a little slow, because those customers haven’t quite come back, but for me, it’s been going full steam ahead.”
Most employees have returned after being laid off, customers are pouring in again, and it’s almost exactly as it always has been. “It feels the same, except we have to wear masks now,” said employee Toni Eaves.
Hopwood remarked that almost half a million dollars has been spent to ensure the visitors’ safety in the casino, including individual kiosks and a mobile app to lessen the need for face to face interaction. There is also everything we have come to expect in the midst of a global pandemic: plastic barriers, hand wipes and hand sanitizing stations, along with temperature checks at all the entrances.
“We’ve done almost everything we can as far as spacing goes,” Hopwood continued. “It does make it a little tough for us because of the spacing in the Sportsbook — we did take some of the seating out — with the amount of customers we have, you’re trying to get them through as fast as possible so we’re not too congested.”
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have voted down a protest over their recent purchase of Caesars Southern Indiana casino. By a vote of 56-44, the Tribal Council overpowered a protest, which argued the deal was not in the tribe’s favor.
Ho-Chunk Inc’s subsidiary, WarHorse Gaming, have given a visual tease of what their new casino will look like at the Lincoln Race Course in Nebraska. The extension, which cost roughly $200 million, is supposed to have a partial opening later this year, with a full opening expected in 2022.
“Although we’re still early in the process, it’s exciting to see the potential of a world-class gaming operation for the city of Lincoln and state of Nebraska,” said Lance Morgan, president and CEO of Ho-Chunk, in the release. “Our goal is to build a top-notch facility that compliments horse racing while at the same time offering a resort style casino/hotel on the property.”