Crisis Management and Media Relations Focus of Seminar At 8th Annual Southern Gaming Summit

20 April 2001

LAS VEGAS, Nevada –(Press Release) -- April 20, 2001-- There's a fire on the second floor, a flood has turned the casino into a swamp and someone is on the roof threatening to jump. Your bad day is about to get worse: Outside your office door is a small mob of press, industry regulators, investors and employees who all need answers and direction. Now.

Dealing effectively with such crises will be the focus of a seminar at the upcoming 8th Annual Southern Gaming Summit, scheduled for May 9 and 10 in Biloxi, Miss. A diverse group of industry and press professionals will instruct attendees to the Summit on what works and what does not when managing the flow of information to a wide variety of audiences during a crisis.

Leading the group is Giselle Russell, founder and president of Strategies, Inc., a public affairs, issues management, political consulting and press relations firm in Jackson, Miss. She brings more than 20 years of experience to the seminar.

``While casinos are no different from any other corporation or entity, there are always things that can be done to improve upon response mechanisms utilized during a crisis,' Russell said. ``We will focus our instruction on how casinos can improve their planning and development of policies and procedures, so that they can better manage crisis situations.'

Other panelists include Mick Lura, chief of staff for the Mississippi Gaming Commission, where he supervises the enforcement, auditing and investigative divisions. Next is John N. Ferrucci, vice president and general manager of Casino Magic Biloxi. Rounding out the panel is Michael Tonos, owner of the public relations and media consulting firm, JMT Consulting.

The crisis communications seminar is one of more than 20 seminars and keynote addresses that span the course of the two-day Summit.

The Southern Gaming Summit is the only gaming conference devoted solely to the casino industry in the South and the Midwest and is the only conference endorsed by the entire Mississippi gaming industry. The Summit will be held at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center and is the largest gaming trade show held outside of Las Vegas.

Last year, more than 5,000 people converged on the conference, which housed more than 120 exhibitors from across the gaming and hospitality spectrum.

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Southern Gaming Summit 2001