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My visit to the Biloxi Casino - Part 2

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Next we’ll drive east along Highway 90 with the Gulf of Mexico to our right. About 5 miles up the road midway between Gulfport and Biloxi we find Treasure Bay on the north side of the road. I remember Treasure Bay from before the hurricane. It was on the south side and the theme was that that of a ‘want-to-be’ Treasure Island with the whole pirate ship thing working throughout. Now that it has been re-built on the north side of the highway, they have dropped the whole pirate ship theme and now the decor kind of reminds me of something out of the ’70s. They bill themselves as the place that local come to play and that may be true because there sure weren’t a lot of tourists there. The place was relatively empty compared to the Island View. Their gimmick to get people to sign up for their player card is to guarantee that players can not lose up to their first $100. The key words are “UP TO” because most only end up with $10 cash back. We looked around and weren’t impressed with what we saw. Just a lot of the same old tired machines. Just another casino. We have bigger fish to fry, so on to Biloxi.

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THE BEAU is the primer gambling mecca in the Biloxi area and this is where we chose to stay for our visit. It is located on the south side of highway 90 right at the end of the final I-110 exit, so they have by far the best location in the area. We had comparable offers from some of the other casinos, but comparing apples to apples we felt that “The Beau” gave us the best centralized location and came highly recommended in terms of amenities and overall comfort. Valet parking is available as well as a multi-story self parking garage. The minute you walk into the lobby to are surrounded by luxury. High end shops line the corridors that connect the parking garage to the lobby and casino. Check-in is painless but be warned…they do not guarantee the room type that you request. We requested a king bed and ended up with 2 queens. The room was very musty and the mattresses sagged so bad that we had to call down to complain. Their solution was to put some ‘egg-crate’ foam under that mattress which helped a little, but that’s about all. Knowing that the hotel had to be renovated after the hurricane, I wondered if I was sleeping on a renovated mattress! Then we turned on the flat screen TV and the picture was fuzzy and the sound quality was tinny and there were no premium channels available. Overall I was very disappointed with the room, but we’re not here for the room…we’re here to gamble.

The Beau Rivage is part of the MGM family of casinos which includes MGM Grand, Aria, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Monte Carlo, and Excalibur in Las Vegas along with Gold Strike in Tunica and MGM Grand in Detriot. Although the points that you accumulate are not directly transferable from casino to casino as they are with the Harrah’s player card, don’t be surprised if you see offers from the other properties even if you have never visited them. What I’ve found is that the MGM tracking system is designed to get you back for subsequent visits, but not to reward you for your play during your current visit. The lines at the player card booth are constantly long because people are up there arguing to get a few buffets comped. The comp system on site is very poor. No self-serve kiosks, just too much waiting in line just to be told that you haven’t quite earned enough points and never getting a straight answer on how much is enough. Now, if you’re all about free play mailers and not the meals or other comps, then maybe this is the system that works best for you.

The casino is a bit larger than the Island View. THE BEAU has 2,500+ machines, 85 tables games, a high limit area and a poker room. The slot floor also has a non-smoking area in the back that I have mixed emotions about. There are certain games that are available in the non-smoking area that are not duplicated the the majority of the casino. I think these non-smoking areas create more problems then they solve. Smoking, drinking, and gambling all go together so if you can’t deal with it then maybe you should be attending a church group meeting instead, but that’s enough of my soap box. The one cool thing that they do have here that I haven’t seen elsewhere is their FIRE JACKPOTS. If you are using your player card, in most of the machines you are eligible for a random jackpot at one of three levels. Level 1 is guaranteed to hit at $1,000, Level 2 at $10,000 and Level 3 at $200,000. Pretty cool! The table game denominations are the typical $10 on the weekends and $5 during the week. There is a good mixture of slots in various denominations, but I would not say that THE BEAU is where you want to go to find the latest & greatest games. They look like they are about 6 to 12 months behind the curve. Overall the play I received was fair and the machines were not overly tight. I wouldn’t mind coming back to THE BEAU, but next time I will hang my coat somewhere else.

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