Mississippi legislative committee says no to casino proposal

March 27, 2024
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Opponents say a casino in Jackson could negatively affect jobs in Vicksburg.

Mississippi House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Trey Lamar has announced that a recent bill to allow a casino in Jackson will not move forward, according to a Fox News report.

Lamar had filed the bill earlier in the week but decided not to move ahead with a vote due to lack of support, the local report said.

Some lawmakers, including Representative Robert Johnson, said concerns over jobs have caused them to rethink the idea of a land-based casino in the state’s capitol.

Johnson told local news that allowing a casino to exist in Jackson “would hurt casinos along the Mississippi River, including in his hometown.”

He further commented, "The coast may survive it, but there's no way anybody else could survive it."

Had the bill advanced, it would have set a new precedent for the state.

Mississippi has welcomed casinos around the state for more than 30 years.

Prior to 2005, Mississippi law only permitted casino development over water. The laws on the books were amended, however, following the events of Hurricane Katrina. Damage to casino barges due to the storm caused lawmakers to revisit the prior stipulations.

Now casino development is allowed in areas that are “a short distance on shore.” This includes areas along the Mississippi and the Gulf Coast.

The state Gaming Commission has licensed 12 casinos on the Gulf Coast and another 14 along the Mississippi. The state is also home to three casinos that are not regulated by the state. Those are owned and operated by The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

Despite killing the bill, Lamar encouraged casino advocates and potential investors by telling them not to give up.

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