Big Turn Out for Island View's Expansion Grand Opening

Gulfport's only casino has raised the stakes with a multimillion dollar expansion. Monday night, people from all over got the chance to be among the first to visit the newest addition to the Island View Casino.

The anticipation was as intense as a high stakes bet as casino leaders prepared to draw back the curtain and let the crowd roam the 50,000 square foot expansion of the Island View Casino.

Before that happened, world renowned chef Emeril Lagasse, who is opening a restaurant in the casino, fired up the crowd.

"I have to tell you this is a really huge day for us here. I want to thank Terry, Rick, and the mayor for such a great project.," Emeril said.

"It's wonderful. It's really fabulous. It looks like it's going to be really exciting. Something new that the coast needs, because we need it," said Jenny Smiley

Smiley and her husband Brad visit the Island View about twice a week. They're looking forward to the new amenities they'll get to enjoy.

"All the lights, and the glimmer, it's really beautiful, all the lights that they have, all the mirrors, and all the machines, they're wonderful," Smiley said.

Harrison County Supervisor Connie Rockco mingled with the crowd while checking out the new gaming floor. She said, "I think it's fabulous. It's huge. It's much bigger than I had anticipated and it's so crowded, and we want to bring those tax dollars in to Mississippi."

As for Long Beach resident Paul Young, he's just glad there's more to do in the area where he lives.

"Yeah, right. We don't have very much entertainment in Long Beach. It's a very small community, and we're still trying to recover from the hurricane, so this is probably the number one thing to do in the Long Beach area," Young said.