Outgoing gaming chief warns of challenges ahead

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi’s top casino regulator, Larry Gregory, says his replacement will face major challenges in keeping casino revenue up across the state.

The Mississippi Gaming Commission is looking for a new executive director. Gregory said Monday that his replacement will oversee a period of increased competition from online gambling and new markets.

Mississippi is unlikely to sanction online gambling within its own borders or promote brick-and-mortar casinos to its own citizens, Gregory said, and so must find other ways to compete.

He said that Mississippi will need to invest heavily in other tourism attractions — such as convention centers, water parks and racing tracks — near its waterfront casinos.

The commission hopes to replace Gregory by August. He said he has not yet made plans, but does not intend to retire.

Click video to hear audio