Casinos closing for Hurricane Dennis - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

The Mississippi Gaming Commission ordered casinos to begin immediately clearing people from their gambling barges after the Harrison County Board of Supervisors issued a mandatory evacuation order at 4 p.m. Saturday for beachfront areas prone to storm surges and flooding.

Larry Gregory, the executive director of the Gaming Commission, called executives at each property to tell them to cease operations and batten down for the storm.

"I have in my hand a new release stating that the Board of Supervisors on the recommendation of the Harrison County emergency management agency has issued a mandatory evacuation for Zone A, which is where the casinos are," Gregory said. "The Gaming Commission is going to follow that directive."

All casinos should have their assets and properties secured by midnight or earlier, Gregory said. Gaming agents briefed key casino personnel on closing procedures Friday afternoon. Many casinos had made preparations in advance of the order being issued Saturday afternoon.

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