Beau Rivage Launches Gulf Coast’s First “Buffalo Zone”

Row of Slot Machines on Left Mississippi State Flag on Right
The Beau Rivage Resort & Casino has partnered with Aristocrat Gaming to come up with the Gulf Coast’s first “Buffalo Zone”.

This partnership ensures that the MGM property will dedicate 1,500 square feet of floor space to Aristocrat’s Buffalo-themed slot titles.

Said Beau Rivage President and COO Brandon Dardeau:

“Beau Rivage is the first Gulf Coast casino to partner with Aristocrat Gaming to bring the ‘Buffalo Zone’ to the region. Buffalo games are extremely popular among our players and having the opportunity to create a special gaming section allows us to further enhance our guests’ gaming experience.”

50 Bison-Themed Titles

The Buffalo Zone features 50 Bison-themed titles including Buffalo Chief, Buffalo Max, Buffalo Gold, Buffalo Link, Buffalo Grand, and Buffalo Gold Revolution. These games are in addition to the existing 47 other Buffalo-themed games locate throughout the casino.

Beau Rivage Resort & Casino has a total gaming space of 85,000 square feet and has a 1,740 room hotel. It has 10 restaurants, a nightlife area, and a BetMGM Book Bar & Grill. The casino also has a 1,500 seat theater for live entertainment, and a shopping promenade that has a Black Cover Lounge and Topgolf Swing Suite.

Not the First in the State

While the Beau Rivage is the first casino in Mississippi’s Gulf Coast to have a special space for Bison-themed games, it isn’t the first in the nation and not even the first in the state.

In January 2021, Boomtown Casino Hotel launched the first Buffalo Zone in North Nevada. Last June, it was the Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica that introduced the first Buffalo Zone in Mississippi. Gold Strike’s Buffalo Zone is nearly twice as large as that of Beau Rivage at 2,800 square feet.

Plans for the KISS-Themed Rock and Brews Casino in Biloxi to Move Forward

Mississippi State Seal Biloxi Casinos
The KISS-themed Rock and Brews casino in Biloxi is still on despite the former Margaritaville Casino site being up for sale.

Rocks and Brews developer Tom Moore said last Friday that the owner of the property changed realty firms recently but added that his group still had the right of first refusal on any property deal. According to Moore, the plan to build the KISS-themed casino and entertainment venue to South Mississsipi is still on and moving forward.

Per Moore:

“The development is still moving forward and the city is working with us. The owner of the property has always had someone that’s had the property listed, so I still feel like we’re in a good place.”

KISS-Themed Casino

Back in 2019, Moore first announced plans to bring casino gambling back to the vacant Biloxi property that was once the Margaritaville Casino. Rocks and Brews, a company owned by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of the iconic rock band KISS wanted to expand their brand from 21 national restaurant locations to casinos.

The company named Moore as the projects developer in transforming the old Margaritaville site into a Rocks and Brews casino a cost of $200 million. The 40,000 square foot casino’s development would include a 3,000 seat concert venue, a world tour food hall, and a 300-room hotel. All of the amenities to be built will be designed as an interactive experience for visitors.

Construction was Pushed Back by the Pandemic

Stanley and Simmons were supposed to appear in a ribbon-cutting ceremony and concert on March 15, 2020. But the events were called off due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the cancellation of the event, Rock and Brews revealed that plans to put up the Biloxi casino have not changed.

The former Margaritaville Casino on Biloxi Back Bay was constructed in 2012 but closed in 2014. The 3-Level Class A facility building had a total area of 92,283 square feet. The building has concrete tilt and steel frame construction with a ground area that leads to the second floor casino area. The area is an open space with plate glass windows overlooking the Biloxi Bay.

Island View Casino Parent Company Sues Insurer Over COVID-19 Losses

Casino Floor In Michigan
Gulfside Casino Partnership, the owners of Island View Casino Resort in Mississippi, has filed a $10M federal lawsuit against its insurance company for COVID-19 losses. Gulfside Casino Partnership is also demanding $90M in punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and interest.

The Misissippi casino says that it has lost $46.M when it was forced to close from March 16 to May 21, 2020 per instruction of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. However, the policy only covers up to $10M.

The case alleges breach of contract and negligence against the Georgia-based Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance Co. which is affiliated with Chubbs. According to a report from the AP Westchester divided shares of the risk to nine other insurers.

Won’t Pay Unless There is Physical Damages

Gulfport lawyer Joe Sam Owen, who represents Chubbs, said that legal claims related to COVID-19 have boiled down to the definition of “physical damage”. As a general rule, insurance companies argue that properties must suffer actual physical damage to recover losses under their insurance policies.

But Gulfside Casino argues that its policy specifically covers the losses caused by its inability to accept bookings or cancelled bookings brought about by “a contagious or infectious disease at an insured location, and as determined by a public or civil authority”. Because its insurance policy had cancellation coverage, the Mississippi casino paid $408,268.00 per annum for the premium.

Not Covered

Last July, insurance consultant Crawford Global Technical Services was tasked to review the claim of the Mississippi casino. In a letter sent to Island View Casino, Crawford Global said that “As a general matter, the policies afford coverage only when there has been direct physical loss, damage or destruction. In the absence of such damage, there is not coverage.”

Crawford Global added that pollutants and contaminants such as virus are not covered. Likewise, communicable disease is not covered in other policy language. Last July, Circus Circus LV also filed a lawsuit against American International Group (AIG), joining a long list of companies in various industries pursuing litigation against its insurers.