Mississippi Gaming Commission Executive Director Allen Godfrey reported this week that developers who tried to see a casino located in Diamondhead off the Bay of St. Louis and the South Beach Casino in Biloxi years ago are now trying again. Both developers have reapplied and the Commission will consider the applications in their February meeting.
The February meeting will be moved to the Coast, according to a report in the SunHerald. A public hearing on the applications will be held at the end of the meeting. Godfrey reported that this details of the meeting will be announced later on, such as gathering place and time frame. “It gives both sides the opportunity to present their information why they think it’s a legal site,” he said.
The South Beach Casino will be represented by RW Development while the Diamondhead site will be represented by Jacobs Entertainment. Both properties have not changed since approval was denied in the past.
The commissioners in place now are new. Chairman Al Hopkins and Jerry Griffith Sr., of Gulfport and Tom Gresham of the Delta will be fresh eyes on the projects and have the ability to grant approval.
Ray Wooldridge owns RW Development and is proposing South Beach Casino build for an area located on the northeast side of Veterans Avenue at U.S. 90. Commissioners reject the RW application in 2008 stating that the developer did not have control of the property to the edge of the water which is required by state regulations.
In 2014 commissioners denied Jacobs Entertainment the ability to create a gaming venue in Diamondhead after the property was not found in compliance with a distance rule regulating casinos moves to land. This rule was put in place after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.