Diamondhead Casino Corp. seeking state approval of site
By Dwayne Bremer
Aug 19, 2014, 20:37
Officials at the Diamondhead Casino Corporation (DCC) are scheduled to appear before the Mississippi Gaming Commission on Thursday to seek site approval for a future casino to be located on the company's property southeast of Exit 16.
DCC is a different company than Jacobs Entertainment, which was denied site approval from the gaming commission in June.
DCC officials have been discussing a casino in the Diamondhead community for nearly two decades.
DCC owns about 400 acres of land about a mile east of Yacht Club Drive in Hancock County.
According to a recent legal notice, the company plans to construct a permanent 80,000-square-foot casino which will contain about 1,250 slot machines and 40 table games.
According to state gaming regulations, companies which plan to develop a casino must go through several steps before obtaining a gaming license. Site approval is the first step.
"I think the market is such that we can have a facility in that area that is not only a casino, but a tourism matrix for the area," DCC Chairman Ted Arneault said last month. "We are taking a very basic first step. Hopefully, everything will take form from there."
DCC's property is already zoned for casino development because the city pre-designated it when it approved its initial zoning maps after incorporation a few years ago.
Over the years, DCC has entered into several "letters of intent" with casino groups, including--most notably--a group controlled by mogul Donald Trump.
All of those deals fell through for various reasons and earlier this year, longtime chairman Deborah Vitale stepped down and handed the reigns to Arneault.
Diamondhead city leaders have endorsed the idea of a casino, saying they believe it will bring revenue and jobs to the area.