What should you know about the town called Tunica, MS? You could say that Tunica, MS (about 20 miles north of Memphis, Mississippi) hit the jackpot, both in literal and figurative terms. Here is a town that at one time seemed totally devoid of hope. Throughout most of the 20th century and down into the 1990s it was associated with poverty and crime. Tunica was practically a ghost town at one point. Up until the early 1990s it was still considered an impoverished place, certainly not touristy by any definition. In fact, it used to be periodically used by politicians and journalists as an illustration of “black poverty.” In the 1980s, well known figure Jesse Jackson once called the small town “America’s Ethiopia.”
Now, less than two decades later, the town is notorious for excessive wealth, and is actually the third most popular spot for gambling in the U.S., second only to Vegas and Atlantic City. How did this change occur? In the early 1990s, the state legislature attempted to legalize dockside gambling along the river and surrounding counties who were suffering. Tunica was one of the few towns than accepted the proposal. Years later, the town is attracting visitors from all over the southeast, as far as West Memphis and Arkansas.
Ever since the overwhelming success of the casinos, the community has built up its public school system and its downtown district. Other improvements include Highway 61 repairs and additions to the Tunica Municipal Airport. It’s come so far that as of 2007, many residents are discussing the possibility of incorporating their community into a separate town government, apart from Tunica County.
It’s safe to say that gambling-sometimes considered to be a vice-has actually changed the history of Tunica in a very positive way. The addition of the casinos has helped to develop business and residential growth. Now the community is made up over a thousand residents and with millions of visitors coming through each year. It is estimated that the casinos of the Tunica area (and beyond) employ 10-15 thousand people.
This town offers everything from a good paying job to a friendly community to a thriving casino and nightlife atmosphere. You can read over the history, look for jobs and see what’s happening on a weekly and monthly basis. Tunica quite literally won the lottery and in just several years has become one of the top gambling spots in the country!