Tunica County businesses uncertain about future after casinos reopen

WATCH: Tunica County businesses uncertain about future after casinos reopen

TUNICA COUNTY, Miss. — When the gaming commission shut down casinos in Mississippi, many businesses were forced to shut down with it.

Even though many casinos reopened Thursday, businesses in Tunica County were left guessing about their future.

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Tunica County leaders expected as much as 16-million-dollars, about half its revenue, from casinos for 2020, but COVID-19 cut that short.

The county said it laid off at least 20 percent of its workers.

Janet Griggs works at a used car dealership in Tunica. She said when the casinos closed it hit them hard.

“Because if they know their job is stable then they have the ability to know that they can afford to buy the car and they're not going to get stuck in the position where maybe they'll open up, maybe I'll get rehired,” Griggs said. “It takes a lot of the maybes out.”

Mary Modlin runs an antiques and collectibles store just down the road from the casinos.

She said she is waiting to see what traffic brings.

“Normally Fridays we’re busy because people come by as they are heading to the casinos and then on Mondays as they are leaving they’ll come by because they saw something and they’d like to get it as they head home,” Modlin said.

For now, the casinos and their neighbors have to wait to see when customers will return.

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