A development company owned by James Parrish has announced that it is partnering with Kentucky-based Encompass Develop, Design & Construct to open a casino along the waterfront in Long Beach Mississippi. The plans call for the casino to be built at the site of the old Sav-a-Center grocery store and Kmart with a wide variety of table games, slots and other online Vegas games.
The 12 acre site is located on a beachfront property on Hwy 90 at 241 East Beach Blvd. As soon as the Mississippi Gaming Commission meets in July the partners expect to receive approval to build what will be Long Beach's first casino.
In the Works
The plans for the casino have been in the works for over 2 years. The developers have now secured investors and are ready to renovate the old shopping area to create a 40,000 square foot casino with 20 gaming tables, 1200 slot machines a 300-room hotel and a fine dining restaurant.
Mississippi Gaming Commissioner, Allen Godfrey, told the media that, with the application for site approval, the initial step of the approval process has been completed and work could begin within months, right after the Commission grants its approval. “It’s been a long process,” said Parrish.
The city of Long Beach is part of the Gulfport–Biloxi Metropolitan Statistical Area. D’Iberville, Gulfport and Biloxi are already home to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi and Harrah’s Gulf Coast, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort and Island View Casino Resort. The developers believe that the growing population in the area and the increase in Gulfport-Biloxi tourism justifies opening a fifth casino venue in the area.
Mississippi is the state with the 8th largest percentage of revenue that comes from commercial gambling. There are dozens of casinos in Mississippi with options that range from big VIP casinos located in Mississippi's large cities to small native American casinos located on Indian reservations.
Mississippi legalized gambling in 1990 and since that time its gambling industry has exploded. Many of the gaming venues are located on cruise vessels that sail the Gulf of Mexico as casino cruises. One of the best known casinos is that of the Choctawa tribe which operates the Pearl River Resort that supplies casino gambling in Choctaw, MS. In addition to the land-based casinos Mississippi hosts a wide range of riverboat casinos that are located on docked riverboats up and down the Mississippi river and other Mississippi waterways.
The Mississippi Gaming Commission regulates gambling in Mississippi. Taxes are collected from the casinos and gambling cruises and are earmarked to fund state programs such as housing, transportation, health care and education.
Horse racing and betting on horse races is prohibited in Mississippi as is bingo for charities unless it’s on a legal casino cruise ship.
Long Beach Mississippi
Parrish and Encompass considered several sites for the casino development but settled on the Long Beach site because of its location in the center of the Gulf tourist industry. They plan to take advantage of the fact that there are many other activities to do in the Long Beach area so visitors can enjoy a leisurely vacation or a family trip in which the casino exists alongside other enjoyable vacation activities.
Some of the most popular Long Beach tourist activities include the following:
The Long Beach Friendship Oak
The Friendship Oak is a 500-year-old oak that stands on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. It stands majestically, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and offers a unique playground for kids, meditative spot for adults and romantic locale for couples.
Busted Wrench Garage Museum
The Busted Wrench Garage offers car enthusiasts a chance to mosey around a guanine car garage and check out what it means to keep automobiles in working order. There's a shop which sells nostalgic signs, die-casts, branded clothing, and other collectibles. The Busted Wrench hosts monthly cruise-ins and free tours are given daily. At last check, this museum appears to have been closed. If you're headed that way, check it out as it may have reopened.
Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum
The Railroad Museum is a must-see for kids and adults alike. It features artifacts that show the over 200 years of railroad history with the goal of bringing the spirit of the American railroad back to life. The museum is located on Pass Road in Gulfport and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 noon – 5:00p.m.
The Museum is the home of multiple scale model train layouts, outdoor garden displays, elevated and ground level G scale trains, the largest LEGO railroad display in Mississippi, interactive layouts for kids to operate and enjoy and multiple riding trains! Visitors can also see fun, themed outdoor railroad displays like those of Jurassic Park and Futurama.
Once the Long Beach Casino starts to run it will join other Gulf Coast casinos. They include:
- Margaritaville Casino and Restaurant in Biloxi
- Golden Nugget in Biloxi
- Beau Rivage in Biloxi
- Treasure Bay in Biloxi
- IP Casino and Resort Spa in Biloxi
- Palace Casino in Biloxi
- Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi
- Harrah's Gulf Coast in Biloxi
- Copa Casino in Gulfport
- Boomtown Biloxi in Biloxi
- President Casino Broadwater Resort in Biloxi
- Casino Magic in Biloxi
- Scarlett Pearl in D'Iberville
- Silver Slipper in Lakeshore
Each of these casinos is individual. In addition to the gaming floors they offer a wide range of additional activities, opportunities and amenities including top-name entertainment, shopping, championship golf courses, fine dining and buffets, spas and salons, pools, marinas with fishing and touring expeditions and more.