Harrah’s says to build new casino in Biloxi

New York (Reuters) – Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. plans to build a new land-based casino in Biloxi, its chief executive said on Wednesday, expanding its presence in the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which is still recovering from 2005 hurricane damage.

„We will announce relatively soon a new project near our Grand facility, which we’ve been operating on a fairly limited scale since we were able to get it reopened after the storm (Katrina),“ said Gary Loveman, Harrah’s CEO, in a conference call on the redevelopment of the Gulf Coast’s gaming industry.

Harrah’s Grand Biloxi Casino was one of several floating casinos centered around the coastal town that were almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, which battered the Gulf Coast with high winds and a massive storm surge.

The casino part of the resort was relocated on land and reopened after a year of work in August 2006.

Harrah’s — the world’s No. 1 casino operator, which is in the process of a USD 17 billion buyout by private equity firms — will announce further details of the project in May, Loveman said.

Mississippi’s coast is the third-largest gambling venue in the United States after Nevada’s Las Vegas and New Jersey’s Atlantic City.