KISS — an American rock band that needs no introduction — is venturing into the gaming world with its first casino.
Following a major renovation that was delayed more than three years by COVID-19, KISS will open the Rock & Brews Casino in Braman, Ok., this Tuesday, May 10. The casino is a reimagination and expansion of the former SouthWind Casino along I-35 at Route 177.
KISS and the Kaw Nation partnered in early 2017 to replace SouthWind with a rock ‘n’ roll-themed gaming destination. The Rock & Brews Casino was originally slated to open in 2019, but the pandemic caused lengthy setbacks. More than a half-decade since the project’s announcement, KISS and tribal officials say the new casino is ready for guests.
What we have here is totally unique, and it cannot be found anywhere near here,” said Adam Goldberg, CEO of Rock & Brews, which has 20 restaurants and bars across the US. The company has seven new locations in the works along with the casino.
The Rock & Brews Casino features 400 slot machines and electronic table games. Sports betting remains illegal in Oklahoma. The casino, of course, will also come with a Rock & Brews Restaurant, plus a quick grab-and-go eatery.
Luring Players Essential
Braman can be missed in a blink of an eye unless a passerby is looking for it. The small town counts less than 250 residents. Its closest city is Wichita, which is about 50 miles north. Tulsa is about 90 miles southeast, and Oklahoma City is 100 miles directly south.
The Kaw Nation hopes to attract gamblers from the three cities to its Rock & Brews Casino by marketing KISS memorabilia and other rock ‘n’ roll Americana.
KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley will be on-site at the casino opening this week. Those who sign up for the Rock & Brews Casino Player’s Club will be entered for a chance to win a photo op with the KISS legends, plus $500 in free play.
The Player’s Club is a credential program that has four levels ranging from “Rock Star” to “All Access VIP.”
Along with attracting people from the three regional cities, Rock & Brews Casino officials believe the new gaming property will better attract bypassers traveling I-35 to make a pitstop.
“We really like that I-35 corridor, because we believe bringing in our 150-seat restaurant is going to be a big draw to commuters and travelers,” Goldberg added.
Biloxi Casino Stalled
Simmons and Stanley have been toying with the idea of opening a KISS-themed casino for many years. While the first will be in Oklahoma, an ongoing development effort continues in Biloxi, Ms.
The Biloxi Rock & Brews casino project in Mississippi was to be much grander than the one opening this week in Oklahoma. The development first proposed in early 2020 was to replace the shuttered Margaritaville Casino on the Biloxi Back Bay.
The blueprint called for a complete overhaul of the property to feature over 1,000 slot machines, several dozen table games, and a sportsbook. The $200 million undertaking was to additionally bring a 300-room hotel to the property.
The Biloxi project, announced in February of 2020, was put on hold after COVID-19 rocked the nation less than a month later. While developers of the commercial project say they hope to move forward with the casino, the 10.1-acre property was put up for sale in March.
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