Larry Gregory

Larry Gregory, who currently serves as executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC), has entered into a letter of intent with the Mississippi Casino Operators Association, Inc. (MCOA) for the position of executive director.

The parties are working toward finalizing an employment contract.

Gregory recently announced his retirement from the Mississippi Gaming Commission, a position he has held since December, 2001. He is expected to begin his new position at MCOA sometime during September.

Prior to his appointment as executive director of the MGC, Gregory also held the positions of deputy executive director from 1998 – 2001 and chief of staff from 1996 – 1998. Before working for the MGC, Gregory served in other state government capacities, including deputy director of the Mississippi State Personnel Board, secretary to the Mississippi Transportation Commission and staff member to the Mississippi Legislature.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to continue to work with Larry as our executive director after many years working with him at the MGC,” said Tess Ingram, MCOA chairperson.

Gregory will be stepping into an improved casino market situation, at least as far as gaming revenues are concerned. The re-opening of river county casinos combined with continued strength on the Gulf Coast made for a strong June revenue report in Mississippi.

Revenue in the 19 riverside casinos more than doubled in June, to $91.6 million from $42 million in May. The figure was still short of last June, when the river counties generated $102.4 million, but the results were nonetheless welcome as some casinos didn’t even re-open until June, including Isle of Capri in Natchez, which was the last to re-open on June 17.

The deficit was almost made up by gains in southern Mississippi, where the 11 Gulf Coast casinos won $93.9 million, up $7 million from last June and $10 million from June 2009. June’s Gulf Coast results would have been even better had Palace Casino not been closed two weeks for renovation. All told, total revenue for the month $189.5 million, down 2.1 percent from last June.

The report was the latest sign of a turnaround in Mississippi, particularly on the Gulf Coast, where cumulative revenues are $9 million ahead of last year, compared with a deficit of $15.5 million through the first six months of last year.