Police and other emergency personnel responded to an alleged bomb threat at the Ameristar Casino on Monday 17 February. The call arrived at 11:30 a.m, prompting an immediate response that sent officers as well as fire units from the Vicksburg Police Department.
The warning was immediately received by phone and workers called 911 treating it as a “credible threat.” Gerad Hardy, the Ameristar Casino and Hotel General Manager, did not provide any further information.
The general manager explained in a statement: “The safety and security of our guests and team members is always our paramount concern. We received a threatening phone call and, out of an abundance of caution, worked with the police department to temporarily evacuate the facility to fully investigate the issue.”
Mary Greer, a casino customer at the time, said a casino employee, “quietly told us there was a bomb threat and it was necessary to evacuate the building. It was very orderly; no one was pushing. Everyone was calm.”
Around 12:30 p.m., police confirmed that they had done a full search of the casino and were waiting for officials from the Mississippi Gaming Commission to arrive. The facility could not open until at just before 3:00 p.m.until and permission from the facility had been obtained.
“Law enforcement officers, including detection dogs, have completed a sweep of the property and found nothing, and have given us the ‘all-clear’ to reopen,” Hardy said. “As this is an ongoing matter, we cannot offer any additional details at this time.”
Bomb threats aimed at casinos do happen but are not a regular occurrence. Mustadin Muadinov was accused in November of sending a bomb threat to the Hollywood Casino in west suburban Aurora. The threat was made in April, where he madea vague statement about parking a box truck in front of the casino. The facility evacuated the inside of 175 people but there was no bomb. Apparently Muadinov had visited the casino in February and got into a fight with one of the workers.