Casino Gambling

South Mississippi casinos closing ahead of Hurricane Nate landfall

A patron walks past Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi Saturday morning ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Nate.
A patron walks past Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi Saturday morning ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Nate. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

The 12 casinos in South Mississippi will close Saturday at 5 p.m., Mississippi Gaming Commissioner Allen Godfrey announced.

The directive applies to casino floors. Casino hotels can remain open if management chooses.

Hancock County has issued a curfew beginning Saturday at 9 p.m. and ending Sunday at 9 a.m., and Harrison County has issued one from 7 p.m. Saturday until 9 a.m. Sunday, which would mean employees and guests would have to stay put during the storm.

Officials at the Gaming Commission sat in on the weather briefings throughout the week to monitor the forecasts, Godfrey said.

The last time the Coast casinos closed due to a hurricane was in August 2012, when all 10 casinos closed ahead of Hurricane Isaac. They shut down on Aug. 28 and most reopened on Aug. 31.

Three days was about the same amount of time the casinos were closed in 2008 for Hurricane Gustav.

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