In Mississippi, the future of two proposed Gulf Coast casino resort projects will reportedly be decided later today during a meeting of the Mississippi Gaming Commission being held at the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Biloxi.
According to a report from the local Sun Herald newspaper, real estate developer RW Development has applied for permission to construct a casino in the city of Biloxi on the same plot of land it tried for in 2008 while Jacobs Entertainment Incorporated, which was similarly denied in 2014, wants to build a gambling venue in the nearby community of Diamondhead. Both schemes were allegedly originally denied due to concerns over their distance from the mean high tide mark although the composition of the Mississippi Gaming Commission has since completely changed.
The newspaper reported that both proposed developments, which were first presented to the Mississippi Gaming Commission during its February 16 meeting at the D’Iberville City Hall Building, have drawn criticism with Gulfport mayor Billy Hewes even going so far as to write an official letter expressing his disapproval.
“Do not be swayed by old assertions, which have been tested and found lacking,” read the letter from the 55-year-old Republican to the Mississippi Gaming Commission. “Your predecessors showed great foresight and have left you on solid footing with grounds for rejection of what otherwise would be a violation of precedent.”
Those opposed to building the new casinos critics have reportedly moreover pointed to the fact that the immediate area is already home to over eight casinos including the Treasure Bay Casino And Hotel, which is located only about 2,600 feet from the proposed site for RW Development’s scheme, while Biloxi is moreover set to welcome the $265 million Foxwoods Resort Casino At Biloxi Pointe early next year.
“The greater impact would be the effect of completely changing the character of our south Mississippi community as it would effectively open the floodgates to an indiscriminate proliferation of gaming sites to areas never contemplated or desired,” wrote Hewes, who served as a member of the Mississippi State Senate from 1992 to 2012. “Furthermore, this cannot be about limitations on competitive opportunities as a multitude of legal gaming sites are presently in existence and available for development.”