Jacobs Entertainment has requested that the Mississippi Gaming Commission approve its Diamondhead casino site.
This site is adjacent to the Diamondhead Marina and Yacht Club in the middle of a covenant-protected residential neighborhood. Many residents throughout Diamondhead have opposed this location since its first proposal in 2007.
The intense public opposition to this site was referenced at the 2014 MGC meeting where Jacobs was unanimously denied site approval and then-MGC Chairman John Hairston stated that public opposition to the site was the most he had ever observed.
Following the recommendation of the executive director, the MGC on June 26, 2014, unanimously denied Jacobs approval.
In the summer of 2015, Jacobs representatives met with a Diamondhead city councilman and the city manager and stated they would reapply for site approval when the political climate changed. Now Jacobs has reapplied.
Gaming in Mississippi has been corruption-free during its 25-year history thanks to a firm and consistent interpretation of the law. Politicization of the site approval process would not bode well for future stability of the industry.
Since the 2014 ruling, nothing about the site has changed. The current commission should heed the well-reasoned decision of former commissioners and the recommendation of the executive director and once again deny site approval to Jacobs.
Political schmoozing aside, it is time for the MGC to send one clear and final denial.