Casinos Betting On Big Business During New Year's - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/26/02

Casinos Betting On Big Business During New Year's

The Christmas decorations took weeks to put up. But at Casino Magic Biloxi, they came down the day after Santa Claus returned to the North Pole.

Casino Magic general manager John Ferrucci said the ornaments were put away because "we need to get ready for our New Year's celebration. And we need all the space that we have."

The week between Christmas and New Year's brings people back to casinos. Slot machines that didn't make a peep before Santa's visit suddenly spin out of control. "The last six days you'll do 50% of your revenue for the month," Ferrucci said. "So it's very important. Everybody's off. Everybody's in a festive mood."

If you drive west to the Port of Gulfport, you'll find out there's a little extra New Year's pressure on people at the Copa Casino. This is the company's first holiday in its spacious barge. So CEO Rick Quinn said making a good impression when the casino is filled with New Year's revelers has added significance.

"Now we have the facility where we can entertain people much better," Quinn said. "In the past, we've had New Year's celebrations, but nothing like we're having this year. I think the next six days are going to be real good to us."

Coast casino executives are betting that they'll be full from this weekend right through New Year's Day.

by Brad Kessie

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