A vote on the Choctaw casino proposal will be on the November ballot in Jackson County. Monday morning supervisors voted unanimously to hold a non-binding referendum on Indian Gaming November 6th.
The board received an Attorney General's opinion last week, giving the county permission to hold the county-wide vote during this year's general election.
The vote will gauge residents' opinions on whether people think a Choctaw Casino would be right for the county. But the vote will not be the determining factor.
"The ultimate decision lies with the governor, with it being a non-binding referendum. Gauging public opinion is important. The governor has said on record that he is opposed to expanding gaming beyond counties where it's currently existing. He's also said he'll abide by the wishes of people in Jackson County. If this vote is definitive, which I think it will be, then the governor will be empowered to step forward and say, 'We don't want tribal gaming in Jackson County,'" said Tim Tarranto with Business for Fairplay.
The Choctaws want to build a $375 million casino on land the tribe owns on Highway 57 in Jackson County. Choctaw Chief Phillip Martin has said in the past, if Jackson County voters say no to a casino, the tribe will not move forward with the plans.