The Associated Press March 16, 2011, 8:11PM ET

Flood worries prompt closure of Metropolis casino

The Harrah's casino and hotel in the far southern Illinois tourism city of Metropolis was closed indefinitely Wednesday because of flooding concerns along the Ohio River.

The casino said in a statement on its website that it made the move to ensure the safety of its operations, guests and workers.

The 36,000-square-foot casino and its related hotel are along the Ohio River, which for days has been swollen and is expected to remain that way perhaps into next week.

The casino -- part of the Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corp., the world's biggest casino operator -- is a fixture in Metropolis, which decades ago adopted Superman as its favorite son.

Caesars Entertainment spokesman Gary Thompson in Las Vegas said the casino would likely be closed a couple days until conditions in the area get better.

"The area around the casino could get flooding and make it difficult to get down there," he said.

Thompson said another casino, the Horseshoe Southern Indiana, was closed last week because of flooding. The casino's website said the casino, pavilion and restaurants have reopened, and the hotel was expected to open Thursday evening.

Last month, Caesars Entertainment reported a roughly $197 million loss over the last three months of 2010 -- compared with net income of $295.6 million a year earlier -- as gamblers kept a tight rein on their spending. Though privately held, Caesars reports its financial results because it has a significant amount of publicly traded debt.


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