One Casino Closes, Others Are in the Works

Although Margaritaville Casino has closed, construction for the Scarlet Pearl in D’Iberville is well underway and there are still plans for a new casino to be built in Diamondhead.

While the doors of Margaritaville have officially closed, the doors of the Scarlet Pearl have yet to be built. Construction is on track and city officials are excited. Bobby Eleuterius, City Manager of D’Iberville, says, “As some cities are closing casinos, we’re under construction and we’re hoping to be in our new casino mid-December of next year, 2015. So we’re very pleased with what’s going on.”

The Scarlet Pearl will be the first casino to open since the opening of Margaritaville in 2012, and although Margaritaville closed after just two years, that doesn’t dampen the outlook city officials have on how successful the Scarlet Pearl will be. Eleuterius also says, “Well we think it’s going to go over very well, being the fact that it’s going to be the first casino as you come across I-10 before you even go into the peninsula.”

D’Iberville leaders are betting their convenient location will be a popular spot, luring in visitors before they hit Biloxi. Eleuterius also says, “The market studies I’ve seen over the years, if ten people cross the bridge to go to gaming, four of them are gonna’ stop there first. That’s 40% of the market that can be captured, so we’re looking very, very favorably about what’s going to happen there.”

D’Iberville may not be the only new casino coming to the Coast. Plans are in the works for a casino in Diamondhead, and like D’Iberville, their target audience would be those traveling along the interstate. Joe Lopez, Diamondhead Alderman for Ward 1, says, “I don’t think it’s going to take from business down on the Coast, you know what I mean. I don’t think we’ll compete with one another.”

Both the Scarlet Pearl and a casino in Diamondhead will have to comply with new gaming commission guidelines for their properties, including 40,000 square feet of casino space, 300 hotel rooms, and other amenities, guidelines created to help casinos succeed so they don’t fold like Margaritaville.

A financial proposal for the Diamondhead casino is set to be brought to the Mississippi Gaming Commission for approval sometime this winter.

Categories: Local News, News

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