Golden Gulf Casino Site To Be Scrutinized By Gaming Regulators - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/27/05

Golden Gulf Casino Site To Be Scrutinized By Gaming Regulators

A bird chirped. So did the crickets. Occasionally, a car drove down Back Bay Boulevard.  Other than those noises, the east Biloxi site where Golden Gulf wants to build its back bay casino was rather quiet.

Several months ago, crews finished digging a basin for what would be Biloxi's first casino in a moat. Since then, the back bay property hasn't been touched.

Across the street from the proposed casino site, Cynthia McEldowney shook her head in disbelief.

"We just want to live in peace," she said.

For more than a year, McEldowney has been the most outspoken critic of the Golden Gulf project. She's very uncomfortable with how close the casino may be to her Crawford Street home.

"The concern is the safety of our children and traffic. Our whole neighborhood is going to be changed for this," McEldowney said.

She also worries about the precedent Golden Gulf could set if its casino in a manmade pond gets the state's go ahead.

"They're trying to make something happen here," she said, referring to the casino company. "And if it does, it's going to be everywhere."

One year ago, Golden Gulf got Biloxi to okay the casino basin idea. Next month, it asks the gaming commission for site approval. If that's granted, developers will spend the rest of the year drawing specific plans for the back bay property.

Asked if Golden Gulf had financing in place to build its casino, attorney Tom Vaughn said, "If we weren't prepared to go forward, we couldn't go to the gaming commission."

by Brad Kessie

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