Casino regulars frequent Palace

Published 3:34 pm Wednesday, October 5, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
Since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in late August, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians has seen an influx of customers at its Bingo Palace.
"We've increased our business probably two fold since Katrina did her damage to the Gulf Coast," Tribal Council Treasurer Arthur Mothershed said. "But we're not putting all of our eggs in one basket for two reasons. First, we do not wish any ill will on anyone. We know that Biloxi will be back and will be back strong as ever. When they do come back we will be offering two types of gaming."
Even though Biloxi offers its customers Class III gaming, which includes table games, the customers that frequented the Mississippi casinos are satisfying their hunger for gambling with Poarch's Class II gaming, which includes bingo-like games with electronic aides.
"We've seen a little increase in gaming since Katrina, but we know they will be back and we wish them good luck," Mothershed said. "Not many of the customers are from the Biloxi, Gulf Coast area because obviously they've got more important things to be dealing with right now to worry about gaming, but people from other areas, Pensacola and Mobile have been coming. We've been seeing a lot customers coming into our facilities."
The extra customers have also helped double the revenue generated by the Bingo Palace.
"We've probably increased our revenue two fold since the storm," Mothershed said. "We've seen probably twice as many customers therefore we've seen about twice as much revenue as we would normally see. It has been good for us."
As with any business that sees a sudden rise in customers, Poarch has helped accommodate their customers by beefing up its staff.
"We've had an increase of staff because obviously we want to take care of those customers," Mothershed said. "We don't want them to come in and have a bad experience. We've always had enough staff on hand and there are a lot of part-timers that are now working more hours.

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