If you haven’t yet visited the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the 20th Annual Southern Gaming Summit, May 7-9, is the perfect opportunity. Not only will you network with colleagues, make new industry contacts and learn valuable industry information at the largest commercial gaming trade show outside Las Vegas, you’ll also have the opportunity to discover and enjoy a jewel of a destination.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast is a powerhouse of first-class gaming resorts including national brands Caesars Entertainment, MGM Mirage, Penn National, Boyd Gaming, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock and Margaritaville, as well as locally grown gems Treasure Bay, Palace, Silver Slipper and Island View. The casino industry is the top economic driver of tourism on the Coast, producing an estimated direct and indirect impact of $1.1 billion annually. However, what makes the Coast a unique gaming destination and has helped the industry thrive as it has for the past two decades are the natural and authentic Mississippi Gulf Coast treasures around it.

The 62 miles of coastline on the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico and mild Southern climate offer year-round vacation activities. This attribute in partnership with the gaming industry has resulted in the proliferation of world-class golf courses that read like a “who’s who” of top course designers—Tom Fazio (Fallen Oak, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino), Jack Nicklaus (Grand Bear, Grand Casino Biloxi), Mark McCumber (Windance, Island View Casino), Davis Love III (Shell Landing, IP Casino Resort & Spa), Arnold Palmer (The Bridges, Hollywood Casino) and Jerry Pate (The Preserve, Palace Casino). Fallen Oak—MGM Mirage Resorts’ signature course which has been a mainstay atop numerous golf publications’ top public courses lists—is home to the PGA TOUR Champions Tour Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, which was televised live on The Golf Channel just a few weeks ago in March. Likewise, other outdoor activities such as deep-sea fishing, boating and well over 26 miles of sugar sand beaches provide almost year-round pastimes for visitors and residents. An extensive network of natural bayous, bays and offshore islands enable an endless list of activities for outdoor enthusiasts from kayaking, paddle boarding and birding to river and nature tours.

 The recent purchase of existing properties by Boyd Gaming, Landry’s and Full House Resorts, the beginning of constructionof a new hotel tower at Hard Rock Biloxi, and the pursuit of  several new licenses for gaming projects on the Coast provide solid examples of the interest and continued growth of the area as a top gaming destination. 

The quality of casino resorts, beautiful beaches and weather are among the top motivators cited in recent research of travelers to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It is a combination that is in itself unique, but once here, experiencing the one-of-a-kind culture of the Mississippi Gulf Coast truly sets it apart among gaming destinations. Historical sites such as Beauvoir, the last home of U.S. Statesman Jefferson Davis and the soon-to-open Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and Fort Massachusetts on Ship Island can only be found on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Internationally acclaimed artists such as painters Walter Anderson and Dusty Bonge, potters George Ohr and Peter Anderson, and numerous talented artisans are from here and their works, inspired by the Mississippi Gulf Coast, are housed at dedicated museums and local art boutiques.

The seafood industry, always woven throughout Coast culture, is still a thriving business and is widely celebrated with festivals, parades and of course, award-winning cuisine featuring fresh Gulf shrimp, fish, crabs and oysters. Gumbo, crawfish and barbecue are also local favorites that have been spotlighted or recognized nationally for chefs and restaurants all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

This is undoubtedly the reason why there is continued interest by the gaming industry in investing in the Mississippi Gulf Coast market; along with an extremely favorable regulatory climate that considers gaming a business partner and economic asset. The recent purchase of existing properties by Boyd Gaming, Landry’s and Full House Resorts, the beginning of construction of a new hotel tower at Hard Rock Biloxi, and the pursuit of several new licenses for gaming projects on the Coast provide solid examples of the interest and continued growth of the area as a top gaming destination.

If you haven’t experienced the Mississippi Gulf Coast before, or if you haven’t been here in several years, we hope you will be able to join us this May at the Southern Gaming Summit and experience it firsthand. For those who know what we have to offer, come back because you are sure to discover something new.