Several of Louisiana’s top casinos are to be temporarily closed down in fear of Hurricane Isaac ravaging the southern coast of the United States today. Hurricane Isaac, which began as a tropical storm in the Atlantic has already bombarded Cuba with rain and was expected to make landfall somewhere off the Florida coastline. However, recent activity has seen the tropical storm upgraded into a fully fledged hurricane as it steers its way towards New Orleans, Louisiana – site of the famous Hurricane Katrina disaster only seven years ago.
A total of three casinos in New Orleans closed their doors this Monday on their own accord out of fear of the hurricane, and a dwindling population of gamblers willing to risk all not just on the casino floor, but also out with the elements as the oncoming hurricane approaches.
At present, Louisiana is the only state to suspend its casino activities in the southern United States, with Mississippi casinos still open for business. Once Isaac makes landfall however, this could be a very different scenario for the gambling business, as forecasts and outlooks predicts that the widespread effects of the hurricane could be felt much further inland, particularly strong gales and lashing rain.
At present, Caesar’s hotel – adjacent to one of the casinos that have closed its doors has stated that its hotel will remain open throughout the storm, unless advised to close by agencies or an evacuation of New Orleans is called for. Caesar’s Grand Casino in Biloxi is also widely expected to remain open except under harsh weather circumstances.
In fateful news, Pinnacle Entertainment – a successful casino enterprise based in Las Vegas – had postponed the opening night of their new three hundred and sixty eight million dollar L’Auberge casino in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Baton Rouge itself was the target of Hurricane Gustav’s powerful forces in between Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac.
A statement by Pinnacle Entertainment sites the safety of their staff and guests as the foremost reason for the delay in the casinos opening, and there has been no official word as to when the casino will open its doors for the very first time. Despite this, the owner of the casino has no concern over the delay.
It is felt that with other gulf state casinos also closed over the next few days whilst the onslaught and threat of the hurricane passes, that there would be no reason to open the new casino and endanger human life.
Hurricane Isaac is currently battering the north coastline of the Gulf of Mexico and is predicted to make landfall today.