Diamondhead casino site denied

meperez@sunherald.comJune 26, 2014 

Jacobs Entertainment's application for site approval for a casino in Diamondhead was denied by a 3-0 vote of the Mississippi Gaming Commission Thursday.

"My recommendation stood," said Allen Godfrey, executive director of the Gaming Commission. Among the reasons he gave to support denial, he said, was the property is not on the Bay of St. Louis but is on man-made canal.

Godfrey said the developers can come back to the Gaming Commission if they can gather other information about the site.

Attorneys for Jacobs Entertainment argued that the Bay of St. Louis extended up to the canal and told the Gaming Commission this decision will affect many other sites.

Godfrey said he'd have to go back and look at other sites to see if that is the case.

He also based his decision on an opinion he requested from Jamie Miller, director of the state Department of Marine Resources. The June 19 opinion says marsh near the Jacobs site is considered land, so it can't be counted as part of the Bay of St. Louis.

Godfrey said Mississippi's casino regulation are pretty clear that the legislature wants casino sites on the waters of the Bay of St. Louis, Biloxi Bay and Mississippi Sounds and "did not want to expand gaming to where it otherwise wouldn't have been."

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