Original Member Of Mississippi Gaming Commission, Robert Engram, Dies At 86

He was known as Captain Engram and helped to lay the framework for the casino industry along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

On Saturday, Robert Engram passed away after a brief illness.

Engram came to the coast in the late 1960's as a Commanding Officer at the Gulfport Seabee Base, and decided to make south Mississippi his home.

He later became director of the Mississippi State Port. In 1993, Governor Kirk Fordice appointed Engram to the Mississippi Gaming Commission. Engram was one of two orginal members of the commission.

Many say Engram's greatest contribution was putting into action a requirement that made casinos invest in land based developments such as hotels, conference centers and golf courses.

Mississippi Casino Operators Association Executive Director Beverly Martin said Engram was a visionary.

"We give him credit with coming up with that 25 percent economic match which is now 100 percent, so if a casino opens they have to invest the same amount of money dollar for dollar on a non gaming entity.  He and his wife Carmen were like part of our family. He was a giant that will be missed but always remembered," said Martin.

Engram was 86 years old.

Funeral Arrangements are incomplete at this time.