GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Island View Casino Resort is upping the ante in the South Mississippi gaming market by building a second casino, this one, on the south side of Highway 90. Island View executives gave their design team the go-ahead Tuesday to start working on the project.
The Port of Gulfport agreed to give the Island View a break on its lease, paving the way for the company to invest about $75 million to build another casino.
"It's very exciting! I think our entire senior staff and management team gave a collective clap today to Mr. Carter when he walked into the building and thanked him for his efforts to continue to grow the business," said Cathy Beeding, Island View Vice-President and Attorney.
The expansion is the latest vision for co-owners Rick Carter and Terry Green. They believe this second casino will complement the $58 million Beach Tower, a hotel that opened on the south side of Highway 90 in April of 2015.
"It'll continue to develop our footprint here in Gulfport. Rick and Terry have invested hundreds of millions of dollars here and this is a continuation of their dedication to their hometown," said Beeding.
And executives say this investment is a good bet for the community by generating more jobs and gaming revenue.
"I think it's a great idea! I walked over to the beach side and it's beautiful over there. So it'll be really nice to have gaming over there," said Hughes.
"They have an overflow here all the time, so I'm sure they can use more space and a lot of people like to be right on the beach," said Terri Beaudrot of Alabama.
Island View owners hope to finalize plans over the next three to six months, with construction to start soon after that.