River casinos battle perception weeks after floods

By The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi River’s high water may be going down, but casinos along the river say the perception they are still flooded is keeping gamblers away.

Bookings are off, and local officials expect gambling revenue to be down in June.

Mississippi’s casino industry took a one-two punch from last year’s oil spill and the more recent river flooding, adding to the hit gambling destinations around the country have taken from the sputtering economy and increased competition.

Gulf Coast casinos have fared better, in part because they didn’t close due to either the oil or the river’s flooding, and because oil giant BP spent millions of dollars on advertising to encourage Americans to visit there.