Katrina-Damaged Miss. Gulf Coast Casinos Reopen

Biloxi, Miss. -- Two casinos here that shut down after suffering damage from Hurricane Katrina have reopened within the past few days, signaling the revival of the gaming industry along Mississippi's Gulf Coast.

The former Imperial Palace, now renamed the IP Hotel & Casino, reopened its gambling barge on Thursday. The casino is located in Biloxi's Back Bay and so incurred much less damage than the casino barges that were located directly on the Gulf of Mexico. More than two-thirds of the IP's 1,088 guestrooms, which are situated on land, are also open.

The Isle of Capri opened a temporary, land-based casino yesterday using facilities that had served as meeting and entertainment space. About three-quarters of the resort's 740 guestrooms are open.

The Palace Casino is scheduled to reopen this Friday.

In all, 13 casinos were destroyed or damaged along the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a result of Hurricane Katrina, which struck on Aug. 29.