Sunday, January 28, 2007

A British Take on Tunica and Gambling American-Style

Posted By on Sun, Jan 28, 2007 at 4:00 AM

The British government is about to license that nation's first "supercasino." To commemorate the occasion, UK newspaper The Independent sent a reporter to Tunica, Mississippi to see how gambling "has transformed 'America's Ethiopia' in just 15 years."

An excerpt: "Driving down Highway 61 from Memphis, Tennessee, to Tunica, Mississippi, the fields are flat, with occasional bursts of swampland, and cotton balls blowing on the tar. As you edge south, the billboards grow more insistent, offering endless variations on the notion of chance: 'Best cash back!', 'Best dealers', '$10k Fridays'.

"Follow your luck, and you end up riding towards Mississippi's tallest building, the Gold Strike, and into the parking lot in front of the old Vegas frontage of the Horseshoe. A vintage car is marooned between red ropes and the foyer echoes to the sound of '96 Tears'. ..."

Despite the "occasional bursts of swampland" and the mythical "cotton balls blowing on the tar," it's a pretty good read. Get the rest of the Independent story here.

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