Waveland votes to okay casino
By Dwayne Bremer
Jul 1, 2014, 20:24
The city of Waveland is actively seeking ways to spur economic development and a future casino may be one option, officials said Tuesday.
The city's board of aldermen on Tuesday was expected to vote on a motion to change the city's ordinances to allow a casino in the city.
The results of the vote were not available by press time Tuesday, however, several board members seemed to be in favor the idea at an economic development meeting last week.
"A lot of things were talked about at the economic development meeting and a casino was one of them," Mayor David Garcia said Tuesday. "Currently, the city charter prohibits a casino. The only thing that the motion will do is take that prohibition out."
Garcia said the city does not have any current offers from a casino group.
"We are not in negotiation with anyone at this time," he said. "But in the future, if someone wanted to consider building a casino in Waveland, at least we would be able to sit down and discuss it with them."
Waveland has few areas where a casino could legally be built. The prime area which could hold a casino would be at the end of Coleman Avenue, which is already zoned for commercial development.
Garcia said he would be open to the possibility of a casino if the right opportunity presented itself.
"All along the Gulf Coast, casinos are good economic engines," he said. "They bring in money, jobs, and development."
If a casino group were to eye Waveland, it would be a lengthy process.
First, the group would have to meet legal requirements from the state and have its site approved by the gaming commission.
Second, the casino would have to have a series of public hearings and gain site plan approval from the city before getting final approval from the state.
Hancock County currently has two casinos, and two other groups have expressed interest in bringing casinos to the Diamondhead area.