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Economic Concerns Spell End for Jackson Casino Bill in Mississippi

Casino lovers in Mississippi will be disappointed to learn that Republican representatives have opted not to put forward a bill that would have permitted the opening of a casino in Jackson due to lack of support for the bill.

The bill was filed by committee chair Trey Lamar on Monday. He said that Republican representatives have since discussed the bill privately and reached the conclusion that it wouldn’t garner enough support to pass. However, Lamar did say that there is still hope for a casino in Jackson.

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Casinos Currently Allowed by River and Sea

At present, Mississippi only allows commercial brick-and-mortar casinos to be built on the Gulf Coast or along the banks of the Mississippi River. Currently, there are twelve casinos on the Gulf Coast and fourteen along the river. The state is also home to three tribal casinos that are operated by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

The aim of Lamar’s bill was to open up investment opportunities in gaming throughout the state. The bill would have permitted an existing licensed casino operator to build and run a casino in the state’s capital, just a mile from the Capitol building.

Republicans currently dominate Mississippi’s House; however, there are several Democratic Party members who are opposed to opening a casino in Jackson due to economic reasons.

Related: Mississippi Riverboat Gambling Expansion Bill Dead in the Water

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Fears of Damage to River Casinos

The leader of the House Democrats, Representative Robert Johnson, thinks that a Jackson casino would damage the casinos along the Mississippi River. He is joined in this concern by Democratic representative Oscar Denton and Republican representative Kevin Ford.

Johnson has said that he thinks coastal casinos would find ways to adapt but that “there is no way anybody else could survive” if a casino were to open in Jackson.

RELATED TOPICS: Regulation

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