GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Island View Casino is close to raising the curtain on the company's new Beach View Casino on the south side of Highway 90.
Construction is in the home stretch on Island Views $75 million Beach View Casino attached to the resort's hotel tower south of Highway 90 near the Port of Gulfport. Island view is adding 43,000 additional square footage of gaming space. WLOX cameras were allowed inside the complex on Wednesday morning to get a look at the complex.
"We're heading straight into the casino. We're walking through the pit area right now. There are 18 table games. On either side are the slot machines. We'll have about 1,000 gaming units when it's all said and done. We'll have entertainment there and promotions all taking place at the video poker bar," said Director of Business Development Kathy Santiago.
The casino on the north side has 83,000 square feet of casino floor. With the new Beach Casino, the amount of space for slot machines and table games jumps to 126,000 square feet, easily giving Island View the largest area for casino games in Mississippi. That's good for Island View and good for the Gulf Coast market.
"We feel bullish. We're very confident that the superior product you continue to offer folks with the resort experience, they'll continue to come. We're working on adding more air service to the area which will bring more people here," said Island View executive Michael Bruffey.
More than 100 jobs have been added to the payroll as a result of the expansion. That could just be phase one of the job creation process.
"We're fully staffed now. I think that there may be other people going through the process of orientation. We feel good about the staff we have now, the increase. We're looking forward to what we bring to Gulfport," according to Santiago.
Four new food and beverage facilities will be included in the Beach Casino complex. Since the Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting, Island View has been very aggressive about plans to include it at the Gulfport Casino.When asked if sports betting will be a part of the beach casino, Santiago played it close to the vest. She said, "We'll See."
The casino is saying they will open by the end of June.