New Buyer Secures Biloxi’s Long-Closed Margaritaville Casino

Posted on: August 10, 2023, 05:25h. 

Last updated on: August 10, 2023, 05:28h.

The Margaritaville Casino and Restaurant, which has remained dormant on the Biloxi waterfront for nine years, was recently sold. Contrary to rumors, the buyer is not the rock band KISS. According to the Sun Herald newspaper, the purchaser is MIC, a company owned by Harry Mohney, a well-known operator in the Las Vegas strip club industry and the owner of the Dick’s Last Resort bar and restaurant chain since 2019.

Margaritaville was wasting away on Mississippi’s Biloxi Bay since its 2014 closure. (Image:

KISS frontmen Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley had initially expressed interest in revamping and reopening the former Margaritaville as their second Rock & Brews Casino. However, the plans for a $200 million renovation of the 40,000 square-foot casino, including a sportsbook, concert venue, and hotel, were put on hold indefinitely. Their enthusiasm dwindled, and ultimately, Mohney’s MIC emerged as the new owner.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS were toying with the idea of renovating and reopening Jimmy Buffett’s former Margaritaville Casino as their second Rock & Brews Casino. (Image: Associated Press)

A groundbreaking ceremony was even scheduled for March 15, 2020, coinciding with KISS’s performance at the Coast Coliseum in Biloxi. However, due to the pandemic, both events were canceled, leading to the discontinuation of their pursuit of the property.

No New Casino Planned

Mohney’s vision for the site does not involve the establishment of a new casino. According to the Sun Herald, he intends to create a multi-venue attraction featuring various entertainment options such as karaoke and axe throwing, alongside two restaurants, one of which will be a Dick’s Last Resort.

The exact sale price has not been disclosed, but the initial asking price was $4.9 million.

Mohney plans to preserve one aspect of the property’s casino past. His attorney has confirmed that a boxing ring will be reintroduced to the area, reviving the thrill of live fights.

The structure, spanning 68,000 square feet and located in Biloxi’s Back Bay area on the former East Harrison County Industrial Park, was originally constructed in 2012 at a cost of $48 million. It was inaugurated by music legend Jimmy Buffett and Tom Brosiq, the founder of Grand Casinos, on May 22, 2012, operating under Buffett’s restaurant and bar brand license.

Decline and Closure

Margaritaville Biloxi boasted 820 slot machines, 18 table games, multiple dining decks, and a waterfront marina offering entertainment, food, and drinks. The grand opening featured a performance by Buffett, who hails from nearby Pascagoula.

In June 2013, the casino made history as the state’s first to offer outdoor gaming, including three blackjack tables.

Unfortunately, the venture folded just over two years after its launch. The lack of resolution in a dispute with the landlord, which impeded the necessary funds for constructing a hotel, was cited as the primary reason. Margaritaville Biloxi ceased operations on September 15, 2014, and the property was listed for sale the following year for $18 million.

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