Landowner proposes new casino on Mississippi Gulf Coast
LAKESHORE, Miss. (AP) — Developers are proposing a new casino on the west end of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, as an existing nearby casino plans an expansion.
Cure Land Co. gave notice in a Wednesday legal ad that it filed with the Mississippi Gaming Commission on March 1, seeking approval for a casino site in Clermont Harbor.
That’s an area east of the existing Silver Slipper Casino in Lakeshore.
Site approval could be on the Gaming Commission agenda in the next couple of months, executive director Allen Godfrey told the Sun Herald . It’s the first step in getting permission to build a casino in Mississippi, and the Gaming Commission would later have to grant a license. Regulators in January approved a site for a casino in Long Beach. Mississippi’s coast currently has 12 gambling halls.
The legal ad proposes a casino with 300 hotel rooms and 1,100 slot machines and 22 table games on a 98.5-acre (40-hectare) site. The Gaming Commission requires all new casinos have 300 hotel rooms, a casino of at least 50,000 square feet (4,600 sq. meters), a fine dining restaurant and an amenity designed to offer something that will increase tourists coming to casinos from outside the state.
Silver Slipper General Manager John Ferrucci tells the Sun Herald his casino is planning a second 150-room hotel tower and convention center and additional restaurant to accommodate expanding business. The first hotel tower opened in 2015. Ferruci told WLOX-TV the expansion is waiting on approval to turn marshy area into parking, with hopes to complete the expansion by 2021.
The casino is targeted toward the Louisiana market, and owner Full House Resorts has said business is booming right now. That’s in part because Mississippi has legalized sports betting, while Louisiana has not.
“It’s really firing on all cylinders right now,” Full House Chief Financial Officer Lewis Fanger said during a recent call discussing earnings with investors. “If you look at revenues, they’re up 20 percent for the quarter.” Earnings before interest, taxes and other expenses was up 74 percent, the highest ever for the casino.
Cure Land Co. is one of the largest landowners in Hancock County. The company is building a boutique hotel in downtown Bay St. Louis — and also is the landlord of the Silver Slipper Casino, where the rent is based on a share of the casino revenue. A competing casino nearby could impact the amount of rent paid.
But Ferrucci said he hoped a neighboring casino could draw more business overall to what has been a relatively isolated location.