20 years of gambling in Mississippi - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

20 years of gambling in Mississippi

VICKSBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Call it a gaming industry milestone. The grand opening of casinos such as Ameristar in Vicksburg 20 years ago was considered the Mississippi miracle.

In 2 decades river towns and the coast have boomed with an influx of money and tourists. Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs says without the taxes and fees generated from gambling, the city could not have supported additional infrastructure projects, or added jobs, with more police and firemen on the payroll.

William White was one of the first workers hired on at Ameristar when they opened their doors in the 90's. 

"I think it's brought a lot of excitement to the city, that love to come in and game, look for entertainment and have a good time," said White

Shirley Jackson is one of 35 workers that started 20 years ago as well. She started as a seamstress. Today she is a buyer for food and beverages. Jackson says the casino has been good to her and the river city.

"You know some of the things that I think about is the fact that we are able to help assist in areas of giving, giving back to the community," said Jackson. "Many charities and organizations here have been so fortunate an so blessed."

Over the years Vicksburg supported five casino's now there are four. Weekend festivities include a $20 thousand dollar drawing for guests, cupcakes and Mardi Gras parades.

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