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Now it is 2017 and it’s time to give the new Biloxi a visit. I apologize for the lengthy prologue but I felt that it was necessary due to the unusual recent history of this gambling area. I don’t want anyone to take my reviews in the same light as with other areas because there is more playing into the current state of affairs in Biloxi other than the economy and industry marketing, and it may give us all insight into the direction of the industry as a whole since Biloxi had to start over from scratch. There are 9 casinos in the immediate area: Island View Casino, Treasure Bay Casino, Beau Rivage, Hard Rock, Grand Casino, Isle of Capri, Palace Casino Resort, BoomTown, and Imperial Palace. If you are planning a trip to the area, DO NOT RELY ON GOOGLE MAPS…IT IS WRONG. They still have pre-hurricane information out there. If you need info, send me an email and I’ll be glad to help. If we had more time, there are more casinos within driving distance in Bay St. Louis. They have Hollywood Casino, Casino Magic, The Silver Slipper.
We flew into the Gulfport/Biloxi regional airport. The airport itself has recently been remodeled. As a matter of fact, it is one of the few airports left in the country that has designated smoking areas INSIDE of the secure area by the gates. The airport is services by all of the major rental car companies. One thing we did notice when making our plans was that the price of rental cars DROPPED has time got closer to our trip. We were able to secure a weekday rate of $23/day for a mid-sized car. A few weeks ago it was in the $40-$45 range.
Our first stop is the Island View Casino which is about 15 minutes from the airport. The Island View is on the inland side of Highway 90 in Gulfport. After the hurricane, the laws that required casinos to be on the water were relaxed. I don’t know why that had that stupid law to begin with so this is one of the good regulatory changes that has taken place. There were a couple of other casinos right here before Katrina, The Grand and Copa Casino. They have been wiped off the the map (except for Google Maps) and the only remnant is the 3-story concrete parking garage that just stands out there by itself on the south side of Highway 90.
There is plenty of parking around the perimeter of the Island View as well as a covered parking garage. The hotel has 560 rooms equipped with pillow-top mattresses, FREE Wi-Fi, Flat pannel TVs, and refrigerators. The casino is a massive 83,000 SF single story layout. It has a relatively small table game area with 47 tables; Craps, Blackjack, and a few novelty games. I would say that 95% of the gaming floor is consumed by their 2000 slot machines, primarily Penny Slots. They are on their own loyalty card system and free play is earned easily. If you are a golfer, then just by getting a player card you can get a discounted green fee at the neighboring Windance Golf Club. They have a unique system for for checking and claiming your comps. They have kiosks scattered throughout the floor and whenever you earn at least 20 points on your card, you can swipe your card at the kiosk and play a game that will give you bonus points and multipliers.
A new player gets some free play just to start with. I got $10 just for signing up. There are probably a lot more features that this kiosk is able to perform that I just didn’t have time to explore. There is a high limit area in the center of the casino where there are $5, $10, $25, $100 3-reel slots. In the rear, there are about 20 Video Poker machines and there is view poker at the 3 different bars. Other than that, it is penny slot heaven. The place is very clean and spacious. The buffet is very reasonably priced and has a good selection of southern-style cooking…and sweet iced tea! You can only get that in the south. They do have an Emeril Lagasse Gulf Coast Fish House restaurant on location. We’ll check that out the next time we come back because we will be back. Overall our experience at the Island View was very enjoyable and we received a good amount of play for our entertainment dollar. The machines seemed to have reasonable paybacks.Share on: