As we traditionally do at this time of year, we bring you our choices for the top Mississippi gaming stories for 2015. Your list may be different, but here is ours:
1. What Took You So Long? After a twenty year wait for D’Iberville, the Scarlet Pearl Casino opened in the city in December.
2. Shoot the Moon. The Pearl River Resort unveiled its newly renovated Golden Moon Casino, having invested another $70 million in the property, and opening a bingo parlor.
3. Rooms with a View! In May, Island View Casino in Gulfport opened its new $58 million 18-story 405-room hotel tower.
4. Exit Stage Right. In October, the Isle of Capri Natchez closed and sold its hotel property to competitor Magnolia Bluffs Casino.
5. Gone But Not Forgotten. Harrah’s Tunica closed and the parent company demolished the casino barge.
6. Keeping Up with the Joneses. Mississippi closely watched gaming developments in the state of Alabama, including possible legislative action to expand gaming in the state (such as lotteries and casino gaming) and the reopening of gaming halls closed in recent years by state law enforcement actions.
7. Sold! In October, DiamondJacks Casino in Vicksburg was sold to the principals of Foundation Gaming Group.
8. Play Ball! MGM Park, a Double A professional baseball facility, opened in June in Biloxi across from Beau Rivage.
9. A Whole New World. The Mississippi Gaming Commission sees the resignation or retirement of Chairman John Hairston, Commissioner Wally Carter and Chairman Nolen Canon, followed by the appointment of Al Hopkins as Chairman and Jerry Griffith and Tom Gresham as Commissioners.
10. Beachfront Property. In September, the Silver Slipper Casino in Hancock County opened its new $20 million hotel project, featuring 120 rooms and nine penthouse suites.
11. Bad Memories. The Mississippi Gulf Coast marked the tenth anniversary of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.