TUNICA COUNTY, Miss. — There’s been a lot of activity going on lately at the old Harrah’s Casino property in Tunica County.
But it hasn’t been the sound of the slots or rolling dice.
Instead it was the rumble of heavy machinery.
Demolition has begun on what was once called the “closest casino to Memphis.”
Question is what will happen to the rest of Harrah’s sprawling complex?
There’s been no “celebrating” on the old Harrah’s Casino property in over a year.
Now, demolition crews have started knocking down walls around the empty gambling floor, leaving no doubt “all bets are off” for good.
“I went to it when it was the Grand. I never went to it after it became Harrah’s,” said James Wortham.
Wednesday Wortham was fishing within eyesight of the demolition.
It was the first time he’d seen the building in shambles.
“I just noticed it today, because I hadn’t been here in a while. I noticed it today when I got here. I noticed that they were tearing it down,” said Wortham.
He said it’s a shame something can’t be done with the property, which included two huge hotels, a kids arcade and a golf course.
“Well, since they already have the hotels and everything, looks like to me like it would be a good use for a maybe an amusement park or something like that,” he said.
At this time there are no plans to demolish the hotels or arcade.
Right now the closest roulette wheel to Memphis is at the Crescent School of Gaming in Robinsonville, Mississippi.
Classes there were filled with students looking to land jobs at Tunica’s casinos.
“In a nutshell, we train casino dealers and bartenders,” said Director John LeBouef.
LeBouef also believed the sprawling Harrah’s complex has potential.
He believed the “smart bet” would be to turn the land into a vacation destination, something he said this area has been sorely lacking.
“Here, you come in from out of town, you park your car and you’re in the casino. Where else can you go? There’s not much else to do,” said LeBouef.
WREG was told several businesses have expressed an interest in the Harrah’s property, including some gaming businesses.
When Harrah’s closed in 2014, more than a thousand employees lost their jobs.