December 15, 2020 Casino, Legal, Land-Based

Mississippi Supreme Court axes proposed Biloxi casino site

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The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled against a repeal for a proposed casino site in Biloxi, ruling the location was too far inland to qualify for casino status.

The property belongs to Ray Woolridge, a former owner of the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets. Woolridge already built an entertainment complex at the site called Big Play Entertainment Center.

The businessman’s efforts to establish a casino were repeatedly rejected by the Mississippi Gaming Commission over a span of 11 years. Woolridge then tried to appeal to a Circuit Court, which also ruled against him.

“The Court agrees with and affirms both decisions of the Harrison County Circuit Court affirming the decision of the MGC,” the Mississippi Supreme Court ruling said.

Mississippi law states that casinos can only be located along the Mississippi River or Gulf Coast. Biloxi, a town of 46,000 residents located along the Gulf, suffered great damage during Hurricane Katrina during 2005, leading the state to change an original law which required casinos to be over water.

Despite the inherent risk of hurricanes, Biloxi remains a premier casino destination in the American South. Earlier this year Universal Music announced plans to build a $1.2bn casino resort in Biloxi, which will feature a music-themed hotel.

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