25-year evolution of South Mississippi casinos
Lakeshore is a remote beachfront area of Hancock County with little commercial development beyond Silver Slipper Casino and now possibly a second casino less than 2 miles away.
Cure Land Co. of Lakeshore filed an application March 1 with the Mississippi Gaming Commission for casino site approval, according to a legal advertisement in Wednesday’s Sea Coast Echo.
The casino would be built on a 98.5-acre property on South Beach Blvd. in the Clermont Harbor Subdivision, the advertisement says. That is east of Silver Slipper Casino and just west of Buccaneer State Park.
The developers anticipate the resort will have the minimum 40,000 square feet of casino space with 1,100 slot machines and 22 table games, along with a 300-room hotel, the legal ad says.
The Gaming Commission requires all new casinos have 300 hotel rooms, a casino of at least 50,000 square feet, a fine dining restaurant and an amenity designed to offer something that will grow the local casino market.
Site approval could be on the Gaming Commission agenda in the next couple of months, said executive director Allen Godfrey. It is the first step in casino development.
Cure Land Co. is one of the largest landowners in Hancock County. The Lakeshore company is building a boutique hotel in downtown Bay St. Louis — and also is landlord at Silver Slipper Casino, where the rent is based on a share of the casino revenue. A competing casino nearby could impact the amount of rent paid.
The closest casino to New Orleans, Silver Slipper has benefited from sports betting, which isn’t legal for the many Saints, LSU and other sports fans in Louisiana.
“It’s really firing on all cylinders right now,” Lewis Fanger, chief financial officer of Silver Slipper parent company Full House Resorts, said during a recent earnings call. “If you look at revenues, they’re up 20 percent for the quarter.,” he said. Adjusted EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes and other expenses was up 74 percent — “the highest ever fourth quarter for EBITDA of the property,” he said.
With business booming, Silver Slipper management is preparing to add a second hotel tower, said general manager John Ferrucci.
The hotel is planned on a pier over the water, southwest of the current hotel that opened in 2015. It will have water views in both directions, he said, and a large corridor between the two hotels that will house a new convention center, meeting rooms and restaurant.