Page 5 - Mississippi/Louisiana Gaming News - Summer, 2021
P. 5

    Nearly 300 associates featured in this issue!
Saying “thank you”... By Allen Godfrey
The date was November 1991. I had just been hired to work for the Mississippi State Tax Commission after being unemployed for two months. My boss came in and said I was going to be working with the
gaming industry. He said I needed to learn the internal controls and become proficient with the laws and regulations concerning the industry. I had never seen a slot machine before so I thought, this will be interesting. Plus, I needed the job so I started studying and reading all I could about gaming. At the time,
I could never have imagined the
tremendous journey ahead of me and
the wonderful people I would meet
and have the privilege to work with
as this industry developed into a major contributor to the state of Mississippi.
Well, fast-forward 30 years and I am about to leave the Mississippi Gaming Commission after being a part of the agency since 2003.
Reflecting on the past 30 years, I started to think about what I have witnessed since legalized gaming came to Mississippi. I have so many wonderful memories of the many grand openings, new hotel towers, new sports bars and VIP rooms. The list is endless.
My memories are of an industry that went from riverboats to casino resorts with hotel towers and amenities that attract visitors from all over the world. There are memories, too, of such challenges as Hurricane Katrina and the havoc she created, of other hurricanes, of the 2011 Mississippi River flood and of being thankful there was not as much damage as there could have been at river casinos.
I also recall the way each licensee reacted in the face
of these challenges. Their actions made me proud to be associated with this industry and the corporations operating here. I get a sense of pride, too, as I remember the Mississippi Gaming Commission staff working around the clock to get properties opened. There are memories of the Southern Gaming Summit. And, I have memories of traveling all over the United States to meet with other regulators.
As I prepare for my next journey in life, I look back and think what a wonderful life I have lived so far. I loved coming to work, being a part of the Mississippi Gaming Commission and having such a tremendous staff. I loved meeting the people that work and run these beautiful properties, and I cannot say enough to express my gratitude for the many friendships that have come from working here. I must say, thank you for the memories. May God bless each one of you.
Become an Associate Member of MGHA Today
P.O. Box 4479 Jackson, MS 39296
12268 Intraplex Pkwy Gulfport, MS 39503
 Allen Godfrey
Executive Director • 601-940-3236

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