A little over a year after purchasing land in the Mississippi community of D’Iberville and the Poarch Band Of Creek Indians has now reportedly announced that its Wind Creek Hospitality gaming enterprise is preparing plans that could see it build a casino on the parcel.
According to a report from the local Sun Herald newspaper, the federally-recognized tribe holds the rights to around 34 contiguous acres in the Back Bay area of D’Iberville, which is located near the city of Biloxi, and hopes to complete market research activities into the possibility of building a new Mississippi casino by the autumn.
“We think it’s a great site,” Arthur Mothershed, Chief Financial Officer for Atmore, Alabama-based Wind Creek Hospitality, told the newspaper. “We just want to make sure that whatever we do, we get it right.”
The Sun Herald reported that Wind Creek Hospitality already runs Wind Creek-branded Class II casinos in the Alabama communities of Montgomery, Wetumpka and Atmore while May saw it team up with the federally-recognized Washoe Tribe Of Nevada And California to open the Wa She Shu Casino in the small Nevada town of Gardnerville. The enterprise additionally holds majority ownerships in greyhound racing facilities in Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, while last year moreover saw it agree a deal to purchase the Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana, from Bossier Casino Venture (Holdco) Incorporated.
Jay Dorris, Chief Executive Officer for Wind Creek Hospitality, told the newspaper that he would like the projected D’Iberville casino to “offer something to the market that will help us grow the market and reflect the quality of Wind Creek Hospitality” while being “very complementary” to the enterprise’s existing casinos in Alabama by honoring their Wind Creek Rewards players’ club card.
Dorris also told the Herald Sun that Wind Creek Hospitality is hoping to develop good relationships with local D’Iberville officials and the Mississippi Gaming Commission while working to make the best use of the Harrison County site and identify the “thing” that will make any new casino unique.
The newspaper reported that regulations from the Mississippi Gaming Commission would require any new D’Iberville casino to offer a restaurant and at least 300 hotel rooms alongside a minimum 40,000 sq ft gaming floor. Any such Class III venue would additionally face immediate competition from the nearby Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort, which opened in December of 2015 at a cost of $290 million offering in excess of 1,200 slots, over 20 gaming tables, a trio of restaurants and a 300-room hotel.
As it would be located away from tribal land, the proposed D’Iberville casino would moreover be required to pay a slot tax rate of 12% to the state, which the Sun Herald reported is a burden already borne by the twelve gambling establishments currently operating along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.