Biloxi taking the state to court Thursday

Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi
Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi File

Biloxi attorneys will be in court Thursday trying to collect more than $1 million owed to the city in rent paid by the Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi and inadvertently swept into the general fund by the state Legislature last year.

The hearing will be at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Jennifer Schloegel in Hancock County.

Biloxi, the Secretary of State, and the Institutions of Higher Learning — which operated the J.L. Scott Marine Education Center at Point Cadet — each receive a third of the annual rent paid by the Golden Nugget under terms of a 2002 agreement.

Legislation last year swept the Point Cadet Leasing Fund to the state’s general fund, including portion owed to Biloxi, the motion says.

The solution proposed in Biloxi’s motion is for the city to collect the rent directly from Golden Nugget, pay all parties and forward the remainder to the state.

The city is owed $1.19 million in addition to the $1.3 million already recovered. The city also wants to recoup the back rent over the next several months, with interest and attorney fees.

Biloxi officials said it will take some time under the agreement to collect the back rent, but would be a solution without further litigation if the secretary of state, IHL and attorney general approve.