Newly refurbished Big Easy Casino opens its doors in Hallandale Beach

Former Mardi Gras Casino purchased by owners of Fontainebleau Miami Beach

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The Big Easy Casino, formerly known as the Mardi Gras Casino, is now open after it was refurbished to fix damage from Hurricane Irma.

Getting to this point has not been easy for the former Mardi Gras.

The casino is back open with new slot machines and an updated look that loyal players seem to like.

"It looks beautiful -- more space, more lights. It looks real nice," gambler Ruth Almodovar said. 

The casino was so badly damaged from Hurricane Irma that the casino was only able to reopen the first two floors. 

"Irma destroyed this 240,000-square-foot building, took the whole roof off, all of our floors were destroyed. We didn't really know if we could save it," Dan Adkins, of the Big Easy Casino, said.

Employees worked around the clock to clean up the casino. 

The casino was purchased last month by the owners of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, who hope the new investment brings new life to the Hallandale Beach staple.

"I love it here," casino regular Tony Pepsi said. 

The remodeling is far from over, but the owners say it's a good start.

"I am thrilled," Adkins said. "We were completely destroyed by Hurricane Irma. I thought the place would never be open again."