President Casino Seeks Bankruptcy Protection - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

President Casino Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

The President Casino isn't the first coast resort to file for bankruptcy protection. Since 1994, the Biloxi Belle, Treasure Bay and the Palace all asked a federal judge to help them pay off their debts.

Bankruptcy worked for Treasure Bay and the Palace. They're both still in business -- and they're paying all their bills.

Keith Crosby runs the new look Palace.  He stood at the top of a landscaped waterfall. Below him was the Palace's pool and its new marina. Crosby said he's gotten two comments about the amenities. People who live in the area told him they "didn't expect this. And that makes us proud. And then somebody that's from here the other day said,'you know I was out at your pool and forgot I was in Biloxi.'"

Both amenities, plus a hotel, were built after Robert Low bought the Palace out of bankruptcy. Crosby said, "We had to get the thing back on its feet on the strength of the people that worked for us, and then reinvest in them."

Joe Edwards was one of the Palace workers who survived the 1995 bankruptcy. "I was in Keith's office two weeks ago," Edwards recalled, "and I was telling him this is like working at some other place. I mean it's totally different from the beginning to where we are now. And we're still growing."

Past bankruptcies impacted more than just casinos. Vendors didn't know if they were supposed to ship merchandise to the bankrupt properties. Steve Castleman is a produce distributor. Because of the bankrutpcies, he said, "There's always a wonder if, what money are you going to receive back from those people and how much and how long."

Castleman's company delivered produce to the first three casinos that had financial problems. Each time one of those casinos filed for bankruptcy, produce bills didn't get paid when they were due. "They've used our goods," Castleman said. "And of course you expect payment."

Castleman said his produce company has been fortunate. Bankruptcy judges made sure his business got back about 95% of what it was owed at the time a casino filed for bankruptcy protection.

Right after it filed for bankruptcy, the President Casino sent a letter to its employees. It said the Biloxi resort just completed its best June since 1993. President officials said the bankruptcy case will help them built a stronger casino company for the future.

by Brad Kessie

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