Gulf Coast Casinos Brace for Another Katrina

Five years after Hurricane Katrina wiped out its gambling and tourism industry, the Mississippi Gulf Coast is bracing for what could be a far more devastating ecological and economic blow from the April 21 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig.“If it’s not one thing, it’s another,” Beverly Martin, executive director of the Mississippi Casino Operators Association, said of the massive oil spill being generated by the subsea wellhead. Some 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day was gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening beaches, wildlife and aquatic habitats from Louisiana to Florida.

“It’s just horrible, after what they went through with the hurricane,” said Stephen Richer, public affairs advocate for the National Tour Association.

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