Many Canadians travel to the southern U.S. during the winter to escape the chill. Traditionally, snowbirds from eastern Canada (Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes) vacation in Florida, while those in western Canada vacation in Arizona and California.
Gulf Coast Casinos Heating up in Winter
One area that is gaining in popularity for those who love to gamble is the states that make up the Gulf Coast: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
Specifically, casinos on the southern Gulf Coast of Mississippi are becoming an increasingly popular destination for those outside the U.S. In 2015, roughly 14 million people from other states visited Mississippi casinos. That’s equivalent to half of the population of Canada.1
In fact, the south coast casino market in Mississippi is on a roll after ending 2015 with a 6% increase. Most recently, in January, the commercial casinos in Mississippi generated $177 million, a definite increase over amount earned in January 2015.2
Why the draw to Mississippi and the south coast? Outside of Las Vegas and Atlantic City, you will not find a cluster of high-end gaming resorts like you do in Mississippi. At the 12 commercial casinos that make up the Mississippi south coast market, visitors will find 14,753 slots, 522 table/poker games, and 6,625 hotel rooms.
In 2015, the state celebrated several grand openings, including The Silver Slipper in Bay St. Louis, with 956 slots, 28 tables, and a new 129-room hotel. The Island View Casino completed a $60 million renovation while the IP Casino Resort Spa completed a $70+ million renovation. This is in addition to the December grand opening of the Scarlet Pearl Casino and Hotel.
5 Biggest Mississippi Gulf Coast Casinos
Island View Casino Resort
The Island View Casino Resort is right on the beach in Gulfport. The 83,000-square foot gaming floor has nearly 2,000 slots, 45 table games, and an area for high-limit slot and table games. In addition to the casino, you’ll find 970 rooms in the two hotels, an outdoor pool with cabanas, five restaurants, and a showroom with live entertainment.3
Beau Rivage Resort and Casino
The Beau Rivage Resort in Biloxi boasts an 80,000-square foot casino with over 2,100 machines, including keno and video poker. It also has 16 poker tables and 82 table games where you can play craps and roulette along with blackjack and mini baccarat. At the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino you’ll also find a 1,740-room hotel.4
IP Casino Resort Spa
The IP Casino Resort Spa is a four-star resort located in Biloxi. The more-than-70,000-square foot casino contains over 1,700 slots, 60 table games, and a 13-table poker room. The company recently spent $70 million to upgrade select rooms at its 1,000-room hotel.5
Scarlet Pearl Casino and Hotel
The Scarlet Pearl Casino and Hotel had its grand opening in December 2015. The first casino in D’Iberville, the resort has a 60,445-square foot casino, a 14-storey hotel with 300 rooms, a pool/spa, a buffet, and an event centre.6
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino – Biloxi
At the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi you’ll discover a 60,000-square foot casino with 500 interactive video slots, and 50 table games,7 including blackjack, craps, roulette, accarat, and Mississippi Stud, and a VIP lounge.8 The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino has 479 hotel rooms, a spa and pool, casual and fine dining, and nightly entertainment.
Non-U.S. Residents Subject to 30% Withholding Tax
If you are a non-U.S. resident and win a significant amount of money at any of the casinos in Mississippi—or anywhere else in the U.S—your winnings could be subject to a 30% withholding tax. But, if you live in a country like Canada, which has signed a U.S. tax treaty, you may be eligible for a refund.
Some of the countries that do not have a U.S. tax treaty, but may still be eligible for a refund include: Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the U.A.E. However, based on a recent court case, winners from these countries may qualify for a refund if they meet certain criteria.
If you win a substantial amount gambling (typically over $1,200), your winnings are subject to a 30% withholding tax by the IRS. If you win $2,000 playing the slots, the casino will pay you $1,400. The IRS keeps the rest.
RMS is the Easiest, Fastest Way to Get Your Money Back
If you’ve been to the U.S. and had 30% of your winnings held back by the IRS, Refund Management Services (RMS) can help you reclaim a portion or all of your taxable winnings.
Founded by a Canadian Chartered Accountant in 1998, RMS is the most reliable and experienced gaming and casino tax refund provider for non-U.S. residents. Only RMS has the One Simple StepTM process. Our customer service agents take care of the rest.
Once you provide us with complete documentation, your claim will be processed and we will submit it to the IRS. We’ve never been refused for an eligible refund.
Contact us today by calling our toll-free number at 1-888-272-5559 or by emailing us at [email protected].
1.“Mississippi Gaming & Hospitality Association Annual Report,” Mississippi Gaming & Hospitality Association web site, last accessed February 24, 2016; http://www.msgaming.org/documents/MSGaming2016.pdf.
2.”Gaming Revenues Rise in January,” Mississippi Gaming & Hospitality Association, last accessed February 24, 2016; http://msgaming.org/coast-casino-revenue-tops-100-million/.
3.“Island View Casino Resort,” Island View Casino resort web site, last accessed February 24, 2016; http://www.islandviewcasino.com.
4.“Beau Rivage Resort & Casino,” World Casino Directory, last accessed February 24, 2016; http://www.worldcasinodirectory.com/casino/beau-rivage-2425.
5.”IP Casino Resort Spa,” IP Casino, Resort, & Spa web site, last accessed February 24, 2016; http://www.ipbiloxi.com.
6.“Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort,” World Casino Directory, last accessed February 24, 2016; http://www.worldcasinodirectory.com/casino/scarlet-pearl-casino.
7.“Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Biloxi,” World Casino Directory, last accessed February 24, 2016; http://www.worldcasinodirectory.com/casino/hard-rock-hotel–3637.
8.“Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Biloxi,” Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi web site, last accessed February 24, 2016; http://www.hrhcbiloxi.com/.