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No bluffing: Casino ready to wow gamblers, residents

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — The main floor of the Magnolia Bluffs Casino houses 580 slot machines, 10 table games and 27 video poker games.

NATCHEZ — Magnolia Bluffs Casino representatives are hoping patrons of the casino immediately feel Natchez when they step into the casino next week.

“I think the architecture will really make people think of Natchez and make them feel at home,” Casino President Kevin Preston said.

Click here for more photographs of the new Magnolia Bluffs Casino

Photographs of a Natchez of years past will hang on the walls inside the casino to give casino patrons a glance at the history of the city and of the casino site.

Among the pictures will be photographs of Learned’s Mill, the cypress sawmill that once sat on the same property.

The architecture of the casino is also designed to look like a mill.

Louise Learned Peabody was so impressed by the casino’s design similarities to the sawmill her family owned that she has supplied old photographs of the mill to be used as art in the casino.

The 45,000-square-foot casino, located on Roth Hill Road, has 580 slot machines, 10 table games, a center bar with 27 poker games and eight televisions and a player’s club.

The casino also has the state’s only one-man craps table, which can be operated by one person, Preston said. The table is used in Preston’s other casinos in Iowa and Missouri. He said Magnolia Bluffs had the table approved by the Mississippi Gaming Commission so it could be used in Natchez.

The casino, Preston said, has Paradise Fishing, one of the hottest slot machine games right now. The machines have joysticks that allow patrons to virtually fish on a large screen above the machines.

The casino will also have an Italian steakhouse named Cypress Mill, a lounge named 180 Lounge and a buffet named Bandsaw Buffet. The restaurants are named for Learned’s Mill.

The restaurants can seat a combined 154 people, Preston said. A private dining room in Cypress Mill will also be available for private parties or meetings.

“We’ve been getting a ton of calls from people wanting to use that area,” Preston said.

An outdoor deck also wraps around the sides and back of the casino and features a seating area, a television and a fire pit. Patrons will also be able to order appetizers and drinks on the deck, Preston said.

No one under the age of 21 is allowed in the casino. Preston said his company had considered having separate entrances so people wishing to bring their family to the restaurants would not have to cross the gaming floor.

“But with security and everything, we just couldn’t make that work,” he said.

Certain areas of the casino will be designated non-smoking, Preston said. He said he does not believe non-smoking patrons will be affected by smoking patrons because the casino will circulate fresh air through the building seven times each hour.

The casino will open at 2 p.m. Tuesday for political and business leaders and 4 p.m. for the general public.

The casino will host a grand opening ceremony with entertainment Jan. 17.