Hurricane Ian is gathering strength in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday and meteorologists expect the storm to impact Florida’s southwestern coast. For that reason, the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa has advised gamblers to cash out and go home.
The casino announced it is closing for the time being early Wednesday. There’s no concrete timeline for when it could re-open right now and Ian will have a lot to say about that in the coming days.
Seminole Hard Rock Casino Tampa prepping for Ian
An announcement on the casino’s website Wednesday updates guests on the situation.
“Our top priority is the safety of our Guests & Team Members. Due to Hurricane Ian, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa will be closed to all non-registered hotel guests starting Wednesday, September 28 at 8am until conditions allow us to reopen. We encourage you to do what you can to keep yourself, your family and your pets safe. Please note, we are not a designated storm shelter and do not have the resources to shelter people or vehicles during a storm. For evacuation information and for approved hurricane shelters, please visit your local official’s website. Follow our Social Media Channels or visit our website for updates. Stay safe!”
The state has set up nearly 200 places for Floridians to weather out the storm. Other casinos in the state, like the Seminole Immokalee in the town by the same, are staying open thus far. While Tampa sits right on the bay that shares the city’s name and that bay is connected to the Gulf of Mexico, cities like Immokalee are further inland.
Casino guests and workers alike will likely be watching to see if Ian will inflict damage upon the property as the following days unfold.
Latest updates on Ian’s path into Florida
One of the properties of hurricanes that can make them so devastating is the weather phenomenon’s ability to gather strength rapidly according to NASA. USA Today‘s latest coverage of Hurricane Ian documents how Ian has been doing exactly that through Wednesday as it makes its way to Florida’s coast.
AccuWeather‘s latest models show Ian making landfall in Florida between Venice and Fort Myers on Wednesday afternoon. At Category 5, Ian is capable of producing a storm surge of 12 to 16 feet along with catastrophic winds and widespread floods.
According to Yahoo, 13 Florida counties are under evacuation orders with five more under a voluntary evacuation notice. It’s completely possible that Seminole Hard Rock could see some structural damage that would delay its reopening.
The casino is doing the right thing by closing, as the lives of casino guests and workers are nothing to gamble with.