New Casino Ventures Proposed for Mississippi’s Gulf Coast

For many years, those who enjoy gaming and beach leisure have been drawn to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast casinos. Presently, legislators are considering whether to expand this appeal by authorizing the establishment of casinos on Mississippi’s Public Trust Tidelands.

The proposed measure, in the words of Senate gambling Committee Chairman David Blount (D), is to give the gambling business throughout the Gulf Coast a more uniform regulatory environment. By mandating developers to get a tidelands leasing agreement from the secretary of state, the measure, also known as SB 2780, will expedite the permitting process for casinos.

Endorsement and Legislative Progress

The bill gained traction after receiving unanimous support from every Gulf Coast casino. Following endorsement by the gaming commission in December, SB 2780 moved through the legislative chambers swiftly, garnering approval in the House by a resounding 113-6 vote.

Nonetheless, there is still resistance to the idea, especially among Biloxi authorities who feel that the project overreaches their jurisdiction. Mayor Andrew Gilich argues that there is sufficient beachfront available for future casino projects and that the community need to be included in these decisions.

The legal dispute between the Secretary of State and Biloxi has highlighted the intricacy of tidelands ownership in the area. The proposal would require discussions to establish a tidelands leasing arrangement, even if the city does not already have one with the state. This would lead to more discussion and consideration.

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