Gaming commission shoots down DH casino
By Dwayne Bremer
Mar 17, 2017, 18:02
Developer wishing to bring a casino to Diamondhead were seven-and- out this weekend after the Mississippi Gaming Commission denied their request for a gaming permit.
The commission on Thursday voted, unanimously without discussion, to unanimously to deny Diamondhead Real Estate LLC.
Diamondhead Real Estate LLC. which is affiliated with Jacobs Entertainment., which unsuccessfully attempted to develop a casino in the city in 2015.
The company is not associated with the Diamondhead Casino Corporation, which owns land on Diamondhead's eastern border along Interstate 10.
In 2014, Jacobs proposed a $150 million casino resort, which company officials said would employ up to 550 people and could potentially generate millions in annual gaming tax revenue.
The development was met with resistance from people who live near the proposed site, but it was also apparently an issue for the Department of Marine Resources, which nixed the project at the time.
The gaming commission in June 2014 voted 3-0 to deny Jacobs' request.
Under state law, land-based casinos must be within 800 feet mark of the mean high tide mark.
Jacobs' property is located adjacent to a bayou and marsh which are tributaries to the Bay of St. Louis. If developers had been able to start the 800 feet in the bayou, then the casino could have been built across the street on Airport Drive.
If the 800 feet begins in the Bay, then the casino would have to be much closer to the water's edge, officials said.
In a letter from the Department of Marine Resources to the gaming commission in 2014, DMR Chief Jamie Miller said that his office believed that the boundaries of the Bay of St. Louis end at the marsh.
Miller said, however, that the location of a shoreline is not necessarily consistent with the mean-high-water mark.
In December, a new proposal was entered which was similar to the original Jacobs development.
Reaction to the proposal was mixed. Some political leaders supported the project, saying it would create jobs and tax revenue for the city.
The Hancock County Board of Supervisors even endorsed the plan.
Others, such as residents of South Diamondhead and the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association, were opposed.
Developers of both projects have 20 days to appeal Thursday's decision.