Saturday, June 10, 2017

It's Better in Biloxi

by Carl Van Eton

Having lived and played in such gaming Meccas as Las Vegas and Atlantic City, I now find myself Jonesing for some casino action since I currently reside in Jacksonville, Florida.  With the exceptions of the local Dog Track that offers power and the now defunct booze cruise that would take you offshore for a few hours to play other casino games, Jacksonville is something of a desert for a dyed-in-the-wool casino players.  While I can jump in my car and drive 4-hours south to play in the Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa, I came to realize that by driving west for 7 hours I could sample a dozen casinos that are in and around Biloxi, Mississippi,

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Truth be told, I used to live in Diamondhead, MS in the lattter part of the 90's, which is a stone's throw from Biloxi.  Back then there were around ten barge-based casinos.  Then along came Hurricane Katrina and all bets were off for quite some time in southern Mississippi.  Now that the casinos have been rebuilt (and I don't mean on barges) and several new properties added, I thought I would clue you in on one of the best little gaming areas in the South by describing for you the trip I recently took to the area.

Beau Rivage -

Image courtesy of Wikimedia
Even before Katrina hit town, the Beau Rivage was one of the best casinos in Biloxi.  Modelled after the Bellagio in Las Vegas, the Beau boasts everything you want in a casino, including tons of table games and slots, 8 restaurants, headline entertainment, 2 nightclubs and shopping galore.  The downside is that it is a mini-marathon from the parking garage to the casino floor. So wear sensible shoes.

If you're into blackjack like I am, you be pleased to know that the Beau offers both pitch and shoe games, many of which are hand shuffled and boast a terrific cut.  The downside is that like all the other casinos in town, the dealer hits soft 17.

Hard Rock -

I used to refer to this casino as the Hard Luck Casino, since it's predecessor was slated to open the night that Hurricane Katrina hit.  Located right on the beach, next to the Beau Rivage, the facility is host to Ruth's Chris Steak House, among other amenities.  The casino has its table games laid out like spokes on a wheel, which means you blackjack players will get a workout walking through the pits looking for an easy mark.

Harrah's -

Image courtesy of Casino Players Club
If you're looking for a deal on rooms, Harrah's has them for as low as $59/night.  While I didn't stay there, you can always check out the reviews on Yelp.  The property is a couple miles down the beach from the Beau and Hard Rock.  While not as flashy as either, I found the casino quite playable.  If you want to tune up before you hit the tables, Harrahs even offers a free online casino  on their website.

Golden Nugget -

Having taken 14-months to build and boasting more than 54,000 square feet of gaming space, the Biloxi GN is located a stone's throw away from the Palace Casino.  More than 700 rooms makes it one of the larger hotels in town as well.  Check out the video at

The Palace -

All you golfers out there might like to look into the Palace's golf packages which offers a room and round of golf at the Preserve for $135 pp do.  The facility also offers Biloxi's only smoke-free casino.

Image courtesy of Casino Players Club
The Imperial Palace and Boomtown

Over on Bayview Avenue in Biloxi you will find the Imperial Palace and Boomtown.  While I played
at the IP, the Boomtown's casino was a little too tiny for my tastes.  However, if you are towing a trailer, Boomtown has an RV park on-site.

Treasure Bay and Island View Casinos

A little further down the beach you'll find the Treasure Bay Casino, the Island View Casino.  I remember when the T-Bay looked like a pirate ship.  When the Gulf was rough, you could watch the chandeliers sway to the motion of the ocean.  Now, the facility is on dry land.

The Island View is a new comer to the Gulfcoast, but the facility seemed impressive enough, with an island theme to boot, although the beach itself was on the other side of the road.

Hollywood and Silver Slipper

If you're in for a road trip, you can also check out Hollywood Casino and the Silver Slipper.  It took me a good 45-minutes to drive from Biloxi to Bay St. Louis and even further to Waveland, MS, which is where you will find the Silver Slipper.  

From a player's perspective, Biloxi, Gulfport, Bay St. Louis and Waveland boast a dozen casinos that offer so much more playing opportunities than anything you can find in the Sunshine State.  With a number of convenient ways to get there that include, car, bus and air, all I can say is that for my money, it's Better in Biloxi.

Want to learn more?  Carl Van Eton has more than 20 years of professional playing experience.  If you want to stop visiting your money every time you go to the casinos, check out his website at

1 comment:

  1. I've never stayed in Biloxi but after reading this article I'll think I have to put it on my list of places to visit. It looks like there is a slot to do there.