Hurricane Katrina hit not just New Orleans, you know, but the Mississippi gambling industry as well. Those floating casinos provided employment and entertainment to thousands of people and now those casinos are gone. Many of those jobs and customers came from the Emerald Coast. or the so-called Redneck Riviera, which includes sites along and proximate to the Alabama and northwest Florida gulf coasts. With the devastation of the Biloxi and Gulfport casinos, residents, casino alternatives to Biloxi have become a big topic. So where does your average weekend gambler go to get his fix now?
Well, Mississippi’s gambling business was not located just along the coast and there actually are some casinos left in Mississippi that are doing a booming business now.
One casino alternative to Biloxi that may seem as though nothing has changed at all is The Isle of Capri Casino. The Isle of Capri was one of the hottest casinos in Biloxi, but now the Isle of Capri that’s attracting everybody is located in Vicksburg, MS. Vicksburg, of course, is best known for its bloody civil war battle and resulting civil war memorial battlefield. That may be about to change. There’s no telling how long it will be before the floating casinos are back in action, and though Vicksburg is obviously a longer trip for many along the gulf coast, the Isle of Capri is a brand name that many know and trust and will take the extra effort to get to. For more information about the casino itself, check out: http://www.isleofcapricasino.com/vicksburg.
Not too far away, in the equally historic town of Philadelphia, MS., is the SilverStar Casino. Philadelphia, MS. Philadelphia’s historic claim to fame is almost as bloody as Vicksburg and was infamously memorialized in the film Mississippi Burning. However, maybe even those unpleasant memories can be forgotten inside the environs of the SilverStar. The SilverStar Casino is a Native American casino and for those who have never been to one of these and think they are second-rate knockoffs of real casinos, then may I suggest you check out their web site.
I think you’ll find that this casino alternative to Biloxi offers no drop in quality or performance whatever.
Speaking of Native American casinos, Mississippi isn’t the only game in town. Check out the Poarch Creek Indian Palace in Atmore, Al., not far from the Alabama/Florida border. This place is really hopping, with revenue reportedly doubling since the destruction of the Biloxi casinos. So far, this casino doesn’t provide the full gambling experience of the major casinos like slot machines and blackjack. Instead, gamers here will find electronic bingo machines. In addition to Atmore, one can also find a casino alternative to Biloxi farther up north in Alabama. In 2007 Harrah’s Entertainment will open the official facility for the Riverside Entertainment Center in Wetumpka, AL., but for now you can take advantage of the temporary facility offering electronic bingo games. For more information on these casinos check out:
Good Times Tours in Pensacola took a hit along with the casinos, but now they are doing big time business scheduling trips to most of the above places.
Trips to the Isle of Capri are $35 and include seven hour stays at the casino.
Trips to the SilverStar are $40, includes seven hour stays and $17 in free play.
Trips to the Poarch Creek Indian Palace are free (it’s not but 50 miles away) and includes a four hour casino stay.
As of yet, Good Times Tours don’t offer service to Wetumpka.
When it comes to casino alternatives to Biloxi for residents along the Emerald Coast, it’s almost business as usual; almost as if nothing has changed.
Though, of course, it has.