A second casino south of U.S. 90 will open next summer at Island View Casino Resort.
The official groundbreaking came Wednesday for the $75 million Island View casino adjacent to the south hotel Beach Tower.
Owner Rick Carter called it an “off-the-charts” casino and said the combined gambling space north and south of U.S. 90 will be the largest in South Mississippi and possibly the state.
The new casino will have a wall of windows overlooking the Gulf and will be smoke-free, he said, giving guests and customers a choice of a smoking or non-smoking casino.
“It’s going to have a show bar,” he said, along with a new restaurant and other food and beverage options. It also will have features and games designed to appeal to a younger customer.
Carter said the expansion will add 250 jobs.
Island View is the only locally owned casino in South Mississippi. Carter and Terry Green, owners of the resort, have been friends since grade school in Gulfport.
Carter said this expansion pushes their total investment to $400 million, since they purchased the former Grand Casino from Caesars Entertainment after Hurricane Katrina.
“This was made possible because of what the Port Authority did in negotiating our lease,” Carter said of the expansion.
While celebrating the opening of Island View’s Beach Tower in 2015, owner Rick Carter shows plans for even more expansion of the casino property in Gulfport — but the approval for a casino on the south side of US 90 on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, is a new development in the plans.
Mary Perez: 228-896-2354, @MaryPerezSH