THE LOWER RIVER 137 Another industry to enter the Lower River counties was gambling. When the state of Mississippi legalized gambling boats, Natchez and Vicksburg, with already established riverfront tourist industries, were in a good position to take advantage. In February 1993, the first casino in the Lower River counties, the Lady Luck Casino, opened for business. There were talks aimed at bringing in more casinos. However, the hoped-for boom never materialized. It wasn’t until 2012 that another casino, the Magnolia Bluff, opened in the city. Vicksburg was more successful. On August 9, 1993, the Isle of Capri became the first casino to open there. By July 1994, it had been joined by Harrah’s and Ameristar. Beginning in 2012, new oil exploration brought hope for prosperity to the Lower River counties. Amite County in particular was suffering from business closures such as the Georgia Pacific mill at Gloster, which cost roughly 850 jobs. High oil prices made it more economical to use a new oil drilling technique known as fracking to reach shale formation oil inaccessible to older techniques and technologies. Adams, Amite, and Wilkinson counties lie over the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, which runs under the southern half of the Lower River counties. Encana Corporation and Goodrich Petroleum came in and began to drill millions of dollars’worth of exploratory wells, some of which soon became producing wells. All the activity brought fees and royalties to local landowners and prosperity to local business. In Wilkinson County, Halcon Resources drilled a well at Horseshoe Hill that reached production of more than 1,500 barrels a day. On June 9, 2014, Halcon announced