HANCOCK COUNTY, Mississippi — The purchase of the Silver Slipper Casino in Hancock County points to the desirability of the south Mississippi market and continued optimism about its growth, Jerry St. PÃ, Mississippi Gaming Commission chairman, said.
Las Vegas-based Full House Resorts Inc. announced on Tuesday that it has inked a deal with Silver Slipper Casino Venture LLC to acquire the casino for $70 million.
Even in the absence of knowing all the details, when one thinks about the dynamics that are occurring on the Mississippi Gulf Coast over the last few months, it speaks to the fact that investors view this as a good place to make an investment, St. PÃ said.
St. PÃ said Full House has not yet brought its plans before the gaming commission.
Full House said in a press release that it anticipates having financing in place by the end of April, and securing regulatory approvals by the end of the third quarter 2012.
Full House spokespeople could not be reached for comment, but said in a press release that a hotel is a possibility.
Tuesdays news comes on the heels of Jimmy Buffetts Margaritaville on Back Bay preparing for a grand opening of Phase I next month, and a proposed DIberville casino clearing a major hurdle with the city council last month.
St. PÃ said while its difficult to see into the future, there is no reason to believe that the market wont continue to see investment.
Thats because, the economy and Hurricane Katrina aside, it has been able to build on a 20-year track record, he said. South Mississippi also has the core ingredients that resort investors look for — access to fishing and the beach, numerous top-notch golf courses, and a warm, tropical climate.
And allowing casinos to build on land after Katrina in 2005 actually may have served to inject the market with new desirability, he has said.
The opening of Margaritaville brings the south Mississippi market back to pre-Katrina levels of 12 casinos.
Since Full House could not be reached on Tuesday, it is unclear whether the company plans any investments at Silver Slipper.
According to the press release, the establishment has 37,000 square feet of gaming space, nearly 1,000 slot and video poker machines, 26 table games, a poker room and the only live Keno game on the Gulf Coast.
Drawing from both the south Louisiana and Mississippi markets, Silver Slipper also has several restaurants and bars.
According to its website, www.silverslipper-ms.com, Silver Slipper became the first land-based casino to be built from the ground up on the Mississippi Coast when it opened in early November 2006.
Full House owns and/or manages several gaming facilities:
- The Rising Star Casino Resort in Rising Sun, Indiana.
- Stockmans Casino in Fallon, Nevada.
- Grand Lodge Casino at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino in Incline Village, Nevada, for which it has commenced a five-year lease agreement, as well as acquired certain assets and liabilities related to he resort.