- Associated Press - Thursday, July 28, 2016

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - When Island View Casino Resort opens a new casino, it is expected to save millions under a new agreement with the state port for waterfront acreage south of U.S. Highway 90.

Island View currently pays the port 5 percent on gross gambling revenue of more than $25 million a year. Under an amendment to the lease, the gross would be reduced to 2 percent on revenue of more than $170 million. It would be 1 percent on revenue that exceeds $200 million.

The savings would apply to the combined gross revenue of the current and the new casino. The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/2ac0iik) the Port Commission approved the amended lease Tuesday, but it must still be signed. The Gaming Commission also would have to approve the project, including financing, before the casino could be built.

The north side casino grossed $167 million during the last year of its current lease, Executive Director Jonathan Daniels said. If north-side casino grosses $170 million and the new casino contributes an additional $50 million in its first year, he said, Island View would owe the port about $800,000 instead of $2.25 million because of the lower percentage.

The port sees the deal as a win because Island View said it could justify building the south-side casino only if the port agreed to the lower percentage owed on gross revenue of more than $170 million.



The casino also pays the port $1.25 million a year to lease the south side land. Island View is expected to pay the state port a total of $7.2 million in 2016, according to the port’s estimated budget, which is slightly more than the port’s combined revenue from maritime operations.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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