This facility replaces the former Grand Casino Biloxi, which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. At the time, the casino offered a 106,000-square-foot (9,800 m2) casino, two hotels with 975 rooms, and a 42,000-square-foot (3,900 m2) convention center.
Currently, the casino features 800 slot machines and 35 table games.
Prior to 2005 this casino was a Grand Casinos and Caesars Entertainment property. After the ownership change to Harrah’s Entertainment it was announced that this casino was being converted to the Horseshoe brand. But these plans were put on hold when Biloxi and the Gulf Coast were hit by Hurricane Katrina. The storm destroyed the barge on which the casino floor was located; the storm surge swept the barge from the shoreline all the way across Beach Boulevard, nearly 500 feet (150 m) inward. On May 21, 2006, demolition crews imploded the beach-side hotel structure, leaving Harrah’s with a clean slate for rebuilding.
After Katrina, the company announced that they will be re-opening the facility during Summer 2006, with a 35,000 sq ft (3,300 m2) casino, a spa, and other amenities, but the facilities south of Highway 90 would take several years to complete. On August 17, 2006, the first phase of the rebuilding opened with a 495-room hotel and a new land-based casino.
The long-term plan for this property had been to construct what Harrah’s (now renamed back to Caesars) called “a destination resort.” Part of the expansion plans revolved around Caesars’ purchase of the 18 acres (73,000 m2) that comprised the neighboring Casino Magic property. In May 2007, Harrah’s announced the Margaritaville Casino and Resort will be built on the site.
However, construction of that expansion ceased in 2008 due to economic concerns, and in January 2011, Caesars officials announced the termination of the agreement with Jimmy Buffett and his Margaritaville brand. A new Margaritaville Casino and Restaurant, not affiliated with Caesars Entertainment, will be constructed on a different location in Biloxi.
As of June 2011, Caesars has not announced any further plans for the partially constructed expansion on the former Casino Magic property, and it is not known when or if construction will resume.