Illinois venue Harrah’s Metropolis Casino and Hotel will reopen Tuesday morning after rising waters from the Ohio River forced the Metropolis gaming property to close on Sunday.
The riverfront southern Illinois gaming complex is scheduled to resume operations at 8 a.m., according to online sources. It initially closed Sunday night, with the decision made that morning.
Water levels on the Ohio River at Paducah, Kentucky were 47.68 feet on Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service. That means Paducah saw river levels above moderate flood stage, WSIL reported.
Harrah’s staff has been checking water levels and the weather forecast. They do not want to re-open the casino until it is safe for players, guests, and employees to do so, according to KFVS.
It was unclear if any of the casino property got flooded or damaged from the rising waters. Casino.org reached out but was unable to get comments from a spokesperson at Harrah’s Metropolis.
A sparse casino Facebook post said: “Harrah’s Metropolis Casino and Hotel is scheduled to reopen to the public on Tuesday, February 25 at 8 a.m. We can’t wait to see you!”
The Caesars Entertainment-owned casino has some 1,200 slots and several table games. The hotel has over 250 rooms.
The recent closing is not the first for the casino because of rising river levels.
Earlier Flooding Forced Metropolis to Temporarily Close
Last February, it closed for several weeks. Repairs were required after floodwaters reached the parking lot, the front entrance, and the ramp to the hotel entrance, television station KFVS reported.
In March 2018, the casino closed for two weeks. During that closure, having the casino shuttered negatively impacted the number of customers at Metropolis businesses, television station WPSD reported. Tourists also did not visit the city’s Superman statue, a 2-ton bronze monument to the superhero.
Worse flooding took place in May 2011. The Southern Illinoisan reported the casino back then closed for about a month. Water surrounded the casino and the hotel. The flooded Ohio River reached into several local streets, too.
Other US Casinos Closed Due to Flooding
Other US casinos were also flooded over the past year. For instance, last July Rivers Casino Schenectady, located in upstate New York, saw water rushing past slot machines in the casino’s outdoor smoking area. Players ran for cover.
Also, last March Fitz Tunica Casino reopened after Mississippi River flooding forced a temporary closure for five days. The gaming property is in Robinsonville, Mississippi.
Local officials closed the access road to the casino because of flood waters from the nearby Mississippi River. There was no flooding in the casino’s parking lot or water reaching the hotel or casino buildings, according to local news reports.
But in April 2001, casinos in Illinois chose to stay open despite rising Mississippi River waters. Waters in nearby Iowa crested at more than 22 feet, as sandbags and levees were holding back the floodwaters, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Two riverboat casinos in Quad Cities, Illinois were “booming, packed with curiosity seekers who come to look at the floods and stay to shoot craps,” the newspaper reported. “A third boat, based in Davenport [Iowa], had to close because the riverfront was flooded.”
The casinos that stayed open back then saw business increase as much as 30 percent, the Tribune reported.