In preparing for a recent trip to Biloxi, Mississippi, I read that the Boomtown Casino is a local’s favorite. I’m always interested in “local’s” casinos because they generally have low table limits that I prefer. After a late lunch on a Monday, my wife and I split to do our own things. She headed for her favorite nickel video poker machine, and I decided to spend the remainder of the afternoon checking out the Boomtown.
Our resort (the Beau Rivage) is located on the Gulf, while the Boomtown is located on the Back Bay of Biloxi, so I left our perfect parking space in the Beau’s garage and drove the short distance. I thought I’d be smart and take I-110 (i.e., the spur off of I-10 for Biloxi) going north, which is just to the left after exiting the Beau’s parking garage. To my dismay, I realized there’s no exit when going north for Bayview Avenue, so I drove across the bridge, exited in D’Iberville, then got back on I-110 going south, drove back over the bridge, and exited onto Bayview Avenue. I found it odd that there’s access to Bayview Avenue when going south on I-110, but not when going north (I guess maybe the Department of Transportation didn’t have enough funding to build an access for northbound traffic).
Once off the exit and on Bayview Avenue, I decided to explore for future reference other ways to get to the Boomtown from the Beau. I remembered seeing on the map several possible ways to go, but the two that stuck in my mind were going north on Main Street or north on Caillavet Street. Because Caillavet Street was the first street I came to when driving on Bayview Avenue, I turned right onto Caillavet and went south back to the Beau Rivage. It was an easy drive with two lanes going in each direction, less than two miles back to the Beau. Where Caillavet ends (with the Beau directly ahead), I turned left onto Beach Boulevard (Highway 90 east) and went less than one-quarter mile where I turned left onto Main Street going north back towards the Boomtown. Main Street didn’t look at all like a typical “main” street. To me, Caillavet Street looked more like a “main” street. Main Street was slow and unattractive, especially through the residential section.
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Because Caillavet Street was easier and a bit quicker, it’s now my preferred route from the Beau to the Boomtown, and it’s what I recommend to you. When leaving the Beau’s parking garage, turn right at the light onto Beach Boulevard (Hwy 90 east). Immediately get in the left lane to make the left turn onto Caillavet Street going north. Take the short drive to Bayview Avenue (where Caillavet ends, and where you’ll see the Imperial Palace), and turn right onto Bayview. The Boomtown is less than half a mile on the left. The address is 676 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, MS, 39530.
The Boomtown looks to me like a typical local’s casino, older-looking and less ostentatious than the big resorts. Don’t expect it to look as flashy as the Beau Rivage. I don’t care about the looks because all I usually care about is whether the place has low table limits. I prefer a $5 table over the $10 minimums at the Beau. This is important to me because my buy-in at a $5 table is only $100 compared to a $200 buy-in at a $10 table. For me, playing at a $5 table means I don’t need to bring as much gambling money for the trip (which makes my wife happy). Don’t get me wrong, I still play at the Beau’s $10 table because I’m sometimes too lazy or don’t have time to drive back and forth to another casino. For example, if I have an hour to kill after dinner before we get seated for a show, then I’ll play the Beau’s $10 table.
I walked in and immediately saw that the Boomtown’s theme is Western. This was obvious because of the authentic stagecoach in the center of the lobby. As I stepped into the casino, the lone craps table was directly ahead. I approached and was pleasantly surprised to see that the table minimum was only $3. The table was half empty so I picked my favorite spot next to the dealer and dropped $100 onto the table. It was a choppy table, not much action, not much excitement, so I started chatting with the dealer. I learned that the table minimum varies between $3 and $5 depending on the day of the week and the time of day (e.g., weekends are generally $5 minimum). I also learned that Caillavet Street is, indeed, the best way to get to and from the Beau.
I played for about an hour and, although the table was choppy and I lost about $30, it was quite entertaining (i.e., it didn’t bother me to lose $30 over the hour because I had such a good time). The dealers were a lot of fun as they joked with themselves and the players. I appreciated their efforts to help ensure the players enjoyed themselves, especially with the table being choppy and rather lackluster. I felt that the Boomtown’s dealers cared more about me having a good time than most casinos where I’ve played. Because of the low minimums and the friendly dealers, I’ll definitely return.
Before heading back to the Beau, I scouted the rest of the casino for my wife. She enjoys nickel video poker so I wanted to see what the Boomtown offers. They boast having more than 1,100 slot and video machines, so I’ll take their word for it. However, I found only a single, short row of nickel video poker machines (about 10 machines). Not very appealing for several reasons (e.g., you can’t move to get far enough away from a smoker, and there’s not much selection when you want to leave a “cold” machine). I seldom play machines so I don’t know anything about them, but the Boomtown claims to offer, among others, the following games from penny and nickel to $1 and $5:
Slots: Carnival In Rio, Crown Jewels, Chamillion, Jackpot Island, On The House, Phoenix Express, Haunted House, Texas Tornado, Smokin’ Hot Angels, and Wild Rain Forest.
Video Poker: Ultimate Poker, Super Poker, Quick Quads Poker, and All-Star Poker.
The Boomtown’s table games: include craps, blackjack, and roulette.
I didn’t eat at the Boomtown, but they seem to have a decent selection with four different venues. The buffet includes Italian, Asian, seafood, and down-home Southern pleasures. The BT Steakhouse includes seafood and miscellaneous dishes such as pork chops and lamb chops at affordable prices (e.g., at the time of this writing, a 12-ounce rib-eye steak dinner is only $20). The Grill offers quick-serve food with counter seating. The Boomtown Bakery is open 24 hours and offers freshly homemade pastries, pies, and cakes.
I found the Boomtown’s brick-and-mortar (i.e., the casino itself) to be average, but the service provided by the craps dealers was well above average. Although I doubt my wife would enjoy playing video poker for the reasons stated, I’ll definitely return for more craps, especially on a weekday when the table minimum is only $3. If you’re a thrifty and prudent craps player and find yourself in Biloxi, Mississippi, then I highly recommend trying the Boomtown. Good luck and have fun!
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