GULFPORT, MS - The possibility of a more than 30,000 square foot casino on the west side of Gulfport's harbor has area businesses pretty excited. Monday, The Mississippi Gaming Commission and Rotate Black will meet at Gulfport city hall.
The commission will review Rotate Black's casino plans and make sure the casino has the $112 million it needs to build the project. Gulfport business leaders say they are excited about the possibility of a new casino.
"If anyone doesn't believe this is a good idea tourism wise and marketing wise they need to go back to school and look at what's happened on our Gulf Coast. And I'm a marketing guy. So to me it's a wonderful thing," said owner of Lookout Steak and Seafood restaurant Rob Stinson.
If the casino project is approved Monday restaurants say they'll look forward to more than just the tourists it would bring in.
"We do get a lot of casino workers, a lot of overflow when people get off work. Maybe they come get a shift drink or what have you," said Half Shelf Oyster House Gulfport Assistant Manager.
Although hundreds of jobs are expected to be made by the proposed casino, not everyone supports another gambling resort as a means to bring employment to the coast. Some would like to see jobs created by family oriented entertainment venues.
"It'll be nice if we could get moving with our kids out there. Instead of just going into the casinos and we throwing them in an arcade and then here we are pulling our slots and playing our cards," said Monica Braxton of Gulfport.
Still business leaders say their city greatly needs another gaming facility to make more people want to come to Gulfport.
"When I saw the project and I saw the drawings and I realized it was a first class operation I was thrilled. Anything less would have not been a great thing for us," Stinson said.
The proposed casino has been revised several times in order to meet Mississippi Gaming Commission requirements and now features restaurants, a 205-room, pool and a large gaming area. They're all things these Gulfport business leader hope to see become a reality. If it's not approved Monday Rotate Black could face the new 2014 casino approval requirements, which call for more rooms and another form of entertainment beyond just gaming.