GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Island View Casino Resort is looking to expand its gaming operation by building a new casino floor south of Highway 90.
You may remember, the Gulfport property was once home to the Grand Casino, which had all its machine and table games on a floating barge. After Hurricane Katrina, state law changed and Island View took over the property. The games were all moved on land north of Highway 90.
In 2013, Island View committed to investing $58 million to renovate the old hotel tower on the south side of Hwy 90. Now, a new lease agreement with the Mississippi State Port Authority paves the way for further growth.
"The Port of Gulfport's amendment to Island View Casino's lease allows us to plan on investing approximately $75 million in a new casino to complement our recently opened beach tower," said Rick Carter, co-owner of Island View Casino Resort. "We are very excited about this project, and we expect to have final plans to show within the next few months."
Specifically, the new lease agreement changes the percentage the Port Authority receives from Island View's gross income, allowing the casino to secure the necessary funding for an additional gaming project.
"The Commission's willingness to reduce future revenues and to allow Island View to pursue further expansion efforts, solidifies the company's position in South Mississippi's gaming market," said Jonathan Daniels, MSPA executive director and CEO. "The structure of this new agreement will also allow for significant increases in tax revenue for the state of Mississippi, Harrison County, and the city of Gulfport."
Governor Phil Bryant praised the deal saying it sets the stage for additional employment opportunities in one of the state's strongest industry sectors.
"The partnership between Island View and the Port continues to be beneficial to the growth of both organizations and will continue to provide future economic stability for the Gulf Coast," said Gov. Bryant.
Island View leaders expect to release more details on their gaming expansion plans sometime int he next few months.