As the waters rise along the Mississippi River, casinos across the region are quickly taking action to alleviate the pain and hardship caused by the flooding. Ameristar Casinos, Inc., Boyd Gaming Corporation, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, MGM Resorts International, Isle of Capri Casinos Inc., and Penn National Gaming Inc. have all taken steps to help ensure their employees and the community at large will have access to food, shelter and medical assistance. Just as the gaming industry did during previous natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, it is again providing generous resources to support its employees and the communities that are already being impacted by this event.
While many gaming properties throughout the region are open and not threatened by the surging Mississippi River, many others along the river and its tributaries have been forced to close. These impacted properties are mobilizing to support the community during the flooding and then help return life back to normal as soon as possible.
Some of these AGA member activities include:
- All closed casino properties will continue to provide employees with full pay – including estimated tips – and benefits as well as other services during the flood.
- As many employees require assistance at this time:
- MGM’s Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica, Miss. has a human resources representative on-site and a dedicated area for helping navigate complicated FEMA applications.
- The Caesars HEART Fund is helping support employees who have been affected by the flooding and is assisting employees with finding rental housing.
- Isle of Capri has reminded employees of the company’s Sunshine Fund, which provides qualified employees with disaster relief grants of up to $2,500 to help bridge the gap between federal and state relief funds.
- While its properties all remain open, Ameristar Casinos has through its Sunshine Fund provided financial aid to 15 team members affected by the flooding.
- Penn National Gaming is providing Hollywood Casino Tunica employees with an emergency phone line and an online self-service portal to provide information and facilitate urgent employee needs.
- Casino employees have volunteered en masse with organizations such as the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and the Humane Society. Companies have been alerting employees about volunteer opportunities and encouraging them to help in efforts to save homes in the area from flood waters. Casino employees also continue to work at food banks distributing food to their communities.
- At MGM’s Gold Strike Casino Resort, more than 80 employees have completed Red Cross training in shelter operations and damage assessments to aid during the flooding and in recovery.
- Employees from the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel in Natchez, Miss. are working with the local United Way.
- The casinos are also offering direct assistance to their communities in the form of contributions of food, water and shelter.
- Caesars Entertainment donated more than 15 pallets of perishable food to Shelby Cares Shelter at Hope Presbyterian Church Monday.
- Employees from Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg have delivered water and food to Vicksburg Salvation Army shelter volunteers.
- The Gold Strike in Tunica has a “Levee Café” that serves free food to employees, government officials and the community 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Penn National’s Hollywood Casino Tunica provided temporary housing and food to Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks agents while they secured the area.
This is just a sample of gaming industry efforts. If you are covering the Mississippi flooding in the coming weeks, please feel free to include any of this information in your stories or contact any of the following company representatives for additional details:
Office – (816) 414-7007
Cell – (816) 719-9494
Boyd Gaming Corporation
Office – (702) 792-7353
Cell – (702) 290-0663
Office – (702) 407-6529
Cell – (702) 493-7410
MGM Resorts International (in MS)
Office – (228) 386-7134
Cell – (228)-547-8473
MGM Resorts International
Office – (702) 650-6942
Cell – (702) 491-6426
Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.
Office – (314) 813-9368
Cell – (314) 920-8203
Penn National Gaming
Office – (610) 378-8321