A new Gulfport Harbor Casino that is planned within the state of Mississippi could be delayed if developers have a recent request approved. The developers want to see the project delayed by two months from their timeline. A final meeting with the Gaming Commission for approval is set and the start of construction will be decided.
The Gulfport Redevelopment Commission will consider the request for the delay during a meeting taking place next week. The group is part owner of the property along the harbor, the location for the casino to be created.
With a delay of two months, developers will have to make a permission request with the state Gaming Commission in early 2017 and construction would begin that spring. Robert Lubin, an attorney of Virginia, spoke to city leaders stating that the project may be delayed due to financing. Lubin is the head of Mississippi Coast Entertainment LP who along with Magnolia Bluffs Casino-Hotel’s Kevin Preston have stated they needed more time due to uncertainty over an investment programs future that the partnership will be using for casino financing.
The federal EB-5 program is set to expire by the end of this month and Chinese investors of the project are starting to become anxious. Many investors are watching to see if the program will renew. For the project, an investor pays an amount of $500,000 to be a partner in the project and expects 10 jobs will be created based on the process. For their efforts, the investor will receive a green card which will provide the individual with permanent U.S. residency.
The program that the group headed by Lubin is using is a regional center version of an EB-5 which allows indirect jobs in addition to permanent full-time jobs that have to be created based on the regular program. The regional program is believed to be set for renewal which should increase investor confidence according to Lubin. So far, the project has received 18 investors and 70 to 80 are still needed to be able to meet the amount needed for financing.
Lubin does feel confident that the program will be renewed but if not, the casino project’s future will be uncertain. Lubin feels that the Gulfport area can support two casinos and his project would be in the same area as the Island View Casino Resort located on U.S. 90.
$140 million to $160 million would be spent by Mississippi Coast Entertainment to create the casino which would be smaller than the Island View. The project would include a casino as well as 300 guest rooms within a hotel.