New Casino Moved Into Place In Biloxi

What will be Biloxi's first new casino in several years is now at its permanent home.

Tentatively called the "Biloxi Queen," the riverboat left its berth at a Mobile shipyard Monday night and arrived 12 hours later at Clay Point near the Palace Casino and the Biloxi-Ocean Springs bridge.

It was built in 1997 to be a gambling ship but has sat in Mobile since then and has never been used for anything. The new owners hope to open it for business in the spring of 2003, but there's still much to be done.

"A lot of planning, a lot of permits, licenses, all those legal things you have to go through," casino spokesperson Lynn Lofton said. "Of course hiring has to be done, but they are systematically going about it very organized."

The riverboat is owned by former Biloxi businessmen Dennis and Ray Skermetta and Ray Sims of Hattiesburg. When it opens, it will be the Coast's smallest casino with 25,000 square feet of gaming space.