BILOXI, Miss (WALA) -- Gambling is back in Biloxi. 11 of the 12 coast casinos have reopened their doors and people from all over are heading there to gamble.
“I’ve been here for eight hours, I haven’t lost any money, I’m $50 ahead,” said Connie Kimbrel who was the first person in Scarlet Pearl on Thursday. “So it has been a good day.”
Kimbrel is excited that casinos are back open.
“I have my favorite machine and I wanted to get back to it,” she said. “I didn’t want anybody else to sit on it.”
With the reopening there are statewide casino changes, including increased cleaning, a six-foot social distancing requirement for games and employees wearing masks.
In an effort to make people feel safe, the Scarlet Pearl has gone one step beyond the guidelines from the Mississippi Gaming Commission. They put up plexiglass barriers at their table games and some of their slot machines.
“It’s much safer and you can see the people and kind of talk to them a little bit, but the germs aren’t there,” Kimbrel said.
The two-month closure of all 12 coast casinos resulted in an estimated loss of $200 million in revenue.
LuAnn Pappas, the CEO at the Scarlet Pearl says Thursday was a good start to getting back on track.
“We’ve had a tremendous amount of volume starting at 8am this morning, but everyone is in such a good mood, I think everyone just wanted to get out of the house and do something,” she said.
People came from all over for the reopening. John Eisenberg drove 10 hours to bet big in Biloxi.
“I wanted to be here on the first day they opened because this is one of the greatest places for entertainment you could ever find,” he said.
Masks are not required for gamblers, but they are strongly recommended.
The Scarlet Pearl says they expect to be sold out this weekend.