While Mississippi is a booming state where gambling is concerned, and has the third highest gambling revenues of any state in the country, only behind Nevada and New Jersey, they have some curious gambling laws here.
Mississippi is very gambling friendly, and accept all comers, provided the casinos are over water. This goes back to the old days of riverboat gambling, where gambling was seen as less unpleasant if it occurred on a riverboat and not on dry land.
Mississippi certainly isn’t the only state that saw gambling differently if on water. It’s not hard to figure why this ended up being the case, for instance if a gambling riverboat traveled up and down the Mississippi River for instance, it often wasn’t even clear what state they were in, in cases where the river flows through the border between states.
As well, these riverboats would often sail up and down the rivers and may just be passing through. Given that gambling is regulated by individual states, it just wasn’t practical to bar gambling on them. So they received special treatment.
This twist in the law allowed for the building of many casinos on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, floating on barges. The law wasn’t updated, so these casino were exposed to the weather, and one day Hurricane Katrina came calling, and practically levelled the industry.
Many casinos were destroyed, including the Grand Casino Biloxi, which ended up being carried 500 feet inland and across the street by the surge. It had to be demolished. Fortunately for the state, who collects billions of dollars in tax revenue each year from these casinos, owners decided to rebuild, on barges again, and Caesar’s Entertainment decided to replace the Grand Casino with a new one, Harrah’s Gulf Coast, which was opened in 2006.
Harrah’s Gulf Coast isn’t as large as the old Grand Casino, the casino itself is only about a third of the size, but this is perhaps as big as Caesar’s wanted to go given that another hurricane may come one day. There’s also speculation that one day soon the state may finally change the law and allow for inland casinos.
Caesar’s Entertainment also made plans to develop the property next door, where the Casino Magic Biloxi stood before it was destroyed, and they purchased the land to be used to build a Margaritaville Casino and Restaurant to be incorporated within the Harrah’s Gulf Coast property. They ditched these plans, although the casino did end up being rebuilt, but separately, then closed down, and is set to open again soon.
Harrah’s Gulf Coast is one of eight casinos that currently operate in the small city of Biloxi, which provides for a lot of competition for guests and ensures that great deals are available.
The Harrah’s Gulf Coast Resort
The hotel here recently underwent a $14 million renovation, and the building is only 10 years old, so it’s not that it really needed it, but the owners were keen to upgrade the property.
Rooms here start at $59 a night, and include among other amenities a complimentary refrigerator and a safety deposit box, with a microwave being available for an extra $10 a night. Those with pets can upgrade to pet friendly double queen room for $114 per night.
There are various other room selections available. Suites run at $209 a night for 700 square feet, a separate seating area, a wet bar, and a marble bathroom with a Jacuzzi.
There are only 4 restaurants here, although one is not limited to just these and can sample all of the restaurants located nearby, not only in other casinos but in the city of Biloxi as well, but that’s not the plan of Harrah’s and they do offer some good food to keep their guests on location for both their meals and their gambling.
The feature restaurant here is the upscale Magnolia House by Kelly English, the award winning Memphis based chef who oversees the menu here. English won the award for Best New Chef from Food and Wine Magazine.
They claim to have raised the culinary standard of the Mississippi Gulf Coast with this restaurant, and specialize in dishes from Southern Louisiana prepared with the freshest ingredients.
Flavors Buffet offers a wide selection of all you can eat, focusing on American and Asian cuisine. The Steak and Shake offers diners a taste of classic Americana with the juiciest steak burgers and the best hand mixed milkshakes in the area.
The Corner Café offers coffee and quick bites, with breakfast, as well as salads and sandwiches, and is open 24 hours a day.
Mix and Mingle provides the bar services here, which is both an indoor and outdoor lounge, where you can either soak up the sun or mix inside. This is a beautifully designed bar and a great place to relax.
Harrah’s Gulf Coast also offers live entertainment at the Casino Stage Bar, as well as outdoor acts on the 10.5 acre Great Lawn. There’s also a pool here, a spa, a gift shop, and lots of things to do in the area that they are happy to assist you with arranging.
The Casino At Harrah’s Gulf Coast
The casino here is definitely on the smaller side as far as casinos go, with 35,000 square feet of gaming space available. Casino gaming here runs around the clock, and is run by one of the biggest gaming companies in the world, and players can be assured of the high standards that Harrah’s and their parent company Caesar’s are well known for.
Players also get to take advantage of Caesar’s Total Rewards frequent player program, and these rewards can be collected and redeemed at any of their many properties.
They do pack in a good amount of slot machines here, 775 in total, which is more than enough to keep slot players busy and happy. Traditional reel slots, newer video slots, and video poker machines are all available, including progressive jackpot games, with stakes ranging from 1 cent to $100.
The casino also rolls out 35 table games, where you can experience all the fun of Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Pai Gow, Mini Baccarat, and Three Card Poker. There is also a separate Asian gaming room, specifically built to please their Asian players.
Harrah’s Gulf Coast is a great way to experience the Mississippi Gulf Coast area and they offer all the first class service that this hotel casino resort brand is famous for.