Island View Casino Expansion in the Works
Gulfport’s only casino is upping the ante and investing in a $75 million expansion project to build an additional smoke free casino on the south side of Highway 90 across from the Island View Casino. A decision this morning at the State Port Authority meeting in Gulfport opened the door for this project.
The Gulfport shore and skyline will soon change as an expansion project by the Island View Casino gets underway. The project is an additional on-site casino that will be paired with the beach tower hotel that sits on the south side of Highway 90. Island View Vice President and General Counsel Cathy Beeding said, “We’ve been very satisfied with the results. It’s a beautiful property. We’ve had a lot of visitors come into this market to see it and to enjoy all the amenities.”
Casino owners got the green light Tuesday morning after the State Port Authority and Island View amended their lease agreement, paving the way for a new 63,000 square foot gaming facility with about 800 new machines and 20 table games. Port of Gulfport Executive Director Jonathan Daniels said, “It’s going to be a little bit unique for what you typically see in gaming facilities. For us to be able to open that up and have views under the small craft harbor to the port while people are gaming and enjoying the sights and sounds of South Mississippi, we think it’s going to be a real asset.”
Island View officials say they hope to break ground for the new smoke free facility within the next year. “Our ownership, Rick Carter and Terry Green, guys that were raised here in Gulfport, have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into this city and this is just continued re-investment into their hometown,” said Beeding.
To help the casino fund this $75 million expansion project, the port authority has agreed to reduce the percentage it receives from the Island View’s gross income. Daniels and casino leaders agree that it’s an all-around good investment. “As Gulfport’s only casino, I really think it solidified their position in Gulfport as just a major contributor to taxes, major contributor to employment. It’s a win-win for everybody involved,” said Daniels.