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Mississippi to Open First Land-Based Casino 2006-04-02
On Thursday the Mississippi Gaming Commission approved site plans for the state's first land-based casinos. Gambling was legalized in the state of Mississippi 15 years ago, but casinos were restricted to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico or the Mississippi River.
After Hurricane Katrina devastated the area in August last year, in which some massive casino barges were tossed on shore and many others were severely damaged, there came a call to pass legislation allowing casinos to be built on dry land.
Despite strong protests from local religious groups, the commission gave the go-ahead to plans for a land-based casino in Gulfport, and also allowed time extensions to two other casino projects based in Biloxi, the Boomtown Casino and Bacaran Bay Casino.
The owners of the Bacaran Bay Casino project that the cost of developing the casino has risen by around $60 million because of the hurricane. Katrina interrupted planning as well as increasing construction costs, and some building materials have now become scarce.
The new casino, financed by the Gulfside Casino Partnership, which formerly operated the Copa Casino, received approval to build a casino inside the Oasis Hotel by September, with future plans to enlarge the venue. The company also plans to develop the boardwalk with shops and attractions.
(By Ela)