Casinos diversifying to roll in gamblers

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TUNICA, Miss. — It’s the luck of the draw when you walk into any casino, but after a Michigan man hit the $809,579 jackpot after 15 minutes on the 50-cent Wheel of Fortune Machine at Tunica Roadhouse Casino, a lot more people are trying their luck.

“It’s amazing. Eight-hundred-thousand dollars is a lot of money really here in Tunica.  I don’t remember the last time there was one that big in Tunica that I have heard of,” Tom Brown, who frequents the casinos, said.

Tunica Roadhouse says it shows more people are taking their chances. The jackpot was a progressive and had reached the nearly million dollar mark as gamblers around the state took a spin.

“Knocking on the door of a million dollars is really exciting. It’s a great progressive. It’s statewide. So you can see the running numbers ahead. It’s tied into a statewide bank and really exciting when someone wins. We are really lucky to have them here on our property,” said Jesse Keaveny, Regional Vice President of Marketing for Caesars Entertainment, the parent company of Tunica Roadhouse.

It’s a good sign for the casino industry that took a big hit with recent flooding that slowed down operations. Some casinos never fully recovered and went under.

Those like Tunica Roadhouse have made adjustments and weathered the storm by trying to focus on more than games, with concerts, free giveaways and special promotions.

“There are some adjustments that had to be made in Tunica as well as the state of Mississippi. I think we are doing some exciting things here with accommodations and product offerings. We are going to continue to look for new ways to diversify our entertainment offerings to attract a broader range of guests and I think we have a great future ahead of us to do so,” Keaveny said.

Gamers hope that means more big wins for them, too.

Earlier this year, Harrah’s Casino closed its doors in Tunica, but its sister casinos, Horseshoe and Tunica Roadhouse, have remained open.

2 comments

  • takenobull

    It would done them better to take the 800 thousand and spread it around to other gamblers. Years ago if four of you went to Tunica in a car one of you would win a few bucks. Now its all about taking a set amount of money and struggling all night to hang on to what you came in the door with. If you going to lose anyway why not take the shorter trip to West Memphis :)

  • JOSEPH LIEGEL

    I have gone to the casinos for years, ever since the inception with “Splash”. I agree with Takenobull that ever since Harrah’s took over most of the gaming activity, the paybacks have dried up considerably. I very rarely go down now, the last time I rolled through several hundred dollars in less than an hour. I understand that most times you will not win, but to just go down there and either get messed up by a six or so deck blackjack table, or feed a one armed bandit for fifteen minutes with literally no return, it gets to be old real quick. I would much rather try my luck with the dogs across the river. The payback is not necessarily as good, but there is some payback…..even for the novice player.

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