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.