Gaming Commission coming to Long Beach to look at proposed casino site

Long Beach casino project awaiting site approval.
Long Beach casino project awaiting site approval.
Updated: Oct. 15, 2018 at 8:35 PM CDT
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LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - The Mississippi Gaming Commission will be in Long Beach November 15th to hold a hearing at city hall. The commissioners will consider site approval for a proposed casino project in the city.

The developer who owns the old K-Mart and Sav-A-Center properties north of Highway 90 across from the Long Beach Harbor could find out at that meeting if the Gaming Commission considers it a legal site.

“Once this step is made then we have a legal site, one way or the other we’re approved for. That’s what we’re looking for,” said Mayor George Bass.

Long Beach Mayor George Bass supports the idea to bring a casino to his city. If approved, he wants to make sure the project fits the city’s character.

“We have a design review here where the look of the building has to fit. We’re right across from the harbor. A Key West theme, something like that we could put down here that goes with the harbor and our city,” the mayor said.

Developer Jim Parrish hopes to build a 40,000 square foot casino on the site. Gaming Commission rules demand a 300-room hotel and a fine dining restaurant.

Parrish has already made a significant investment in Long Beach. He opened the student housing complex Friendship Oak Village near the USM campus and bought the Harbor Market Restaurant.

Gaming Commissioners will make sure the site is compatible with state law that requires it be within 800-feet of the shoreline.

Steve Pucheu, owner of Steve’s Marina admitted to having mixed feelings, wondering if the property is big enough. He does see the economic upside for the city and businesses in the area.

“I think it needs to be done properly. I think it could be great for Long Beach. Just my opinion. It would be great for our business,” Pucheu said.

Mayor Bass will monitor the legal debate at the November meeting. If approved, then it’ll be time to work with developers keeping the best interests of Long Beach’s in mind.

“We have to make sure we make the best deal with them. Get our percentages right on our revenue that is going to benefit not only the city, but we have the school district that could benefit from it,” according to the mayor.

It’s unclear if the Gaming Commission will have a public comment period at the November 15 meeting. The hearing starts at 9 am at Long Beach City Hall.

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