How To Bet On A Hidden American Gambling Destination
Imagine a place with nice sandy beaches, hospitable local people, colorful regional culture and top notch golf, entertainment, and dining. And of course, don’t forget the eleven world-class casino resorts.
If you’re thinking Atlantic City, think warmer.
If you’re thinking Chicago, think less “windy” and more “breezy."
If you drive about 900 miles directly south from Chicago’s shores of Lake Michigan, you will hit another set of shores: the Gulf of Mexico.
It’s there, near the coastal town of Biloxi, MS, that you will find the Las Vegas of the Deep South, a small community built around gambling and entertainment that generates about $1 billion in annual gaming revenue.
The city of Biloxi is home to only about 44,000 residents. Once the capitol city of French Louisiana back in the 18th century, Biloxi is home to one of only two surviving lighthouses out of 12 that once market the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Gambling (illegal at the time) in Biloxi dates back to the 1940’s, when visitors to the Broadwater Beach Resort gathered to try their luck. Legal gambling in the region only dates back to the 1990’s.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast was hit every bit as hard as New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm surge from Katrina was 27 feet in Biloxi. Upwards of 90 percent of the coastal buildings in Biloxi and neighboring Gulfport were destroyed by Katrina, including several casinos.
Betting On The Gulf Coast
Now that the Biloxi region is back to full strength as a major gambling destination, there are several ways to place a bet on the region’s future.
Penn National Gaming Inc (NASDAQ: PENN) has the most Gulf Coast exposure, owning two casinos in the area (Boomtown and Hollywood). Other public companies that own Gulf Coast casinos include MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), Caesars Entertainment Corp (NASDAQ: CZR), and Boyd Gaming Corp (NYSE: BYD).
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