Casino Magic Biloxi Casino and Hotel
In many countries around the world, land based casinos are seen as huge investments that can lead to massive returns. In the United States, thousands of casinos operate throughout the country with millions of visitors walking through the doors every day. The Casino Magic Biloxi was once such grand casino. The casino was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and has been closed ever since. The plans for the casino were officially unveiled in 1993. The casino was to be located in Biloxi next to the Isle of Capri casino at Point Cadet. The original plans indicated that the casino was to be three stories high with a 5 story floating garage attached.
The Grand Opening
The Casino Magic Biloxi was officially opened on June the 5th 1993 at a cost of $55 million. With additional space added, the total area of the casino included 55,000 square feet. The casino housed a total of 1,160 slot machines, 69 table games, as well as a keno parlour. In 1994, the casino finished construction of a $9-million parking garage to encourage more visitors to the casino. At the time, the casino did not have a hotel on the premises. Planning for a hotel began immediately to be built on top of the parking garage. On May the 1st 1998, the hotel was completed and included a 378 rooms.
Preparing for Bad Weather
In October 1998, the Casino Magic Biloxi property came under the ownership of Hollywood Park Inc. As the casino was based on the coast, plans were made to secure the casino complex from Hurricanes. The company wanted to install an anchoring system in Biloxi’s Back Bay where the barges could weather the storms away from the brutal open seas. The plan was ultimately rejected and another option had to be implemented. The company installed a large mooring system and a submersible barge that could act as a breakwater against the storm.
The Destruction by Hurricane Katrina
In 1998 the Casino Magic Biloxi was hit by Hurricane George. The damage amounted to $2.5 million. The casino eventually recovered and was profitable for a number of years. In 2005 as Hurricane Katrina approached, the state ordered all coastal casinos to close on August 28. The storm made landfall the very next day and carried the mooring away. Large parts of the casino were destroyed in the storm. Originally the owning company said it would rebuilt but changed their mind.
With the Casino Magic Biloxi now in ruins, it wasn’t until 2007 that the company joined with Jimmy Buffett to construct a $700-million Margaritaville Casino Resort. Due to the world-wide financial crises in 2008, all construction was suspended. The Margaritaville Casino Resort was eventually built in a different location. After the Margaritaville casino closed in 2014, a new developer announced plans for a new Margaritaville Resort on the Casino Magic site. The resort has been scheduled to open in June 2016. The family friendly resort is said to be a non-gaming resort. This would mark the end of the history of gambling and the casino located on the site.