Gulf Coast may land another riverboat

June 10, 2002 11:48 PM
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While the Biloxi Queen riverboat remains docked in that Mississippi city, the owners continue to prepare applications to open a new casino on the Gulf Coast.

The site chosen for the casino is near the Palace Casino, officials said. A projected gaming area of 25,000 square feet will be available on the boat, which arrived from Mobile, Ala.

The riverboat, built in 1997, will be one of the smaller casino operations on the Gulf Coast. The owners hope to get approval from the Gaming Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in time to open in the spring of 2003.

"We’re currently developing the casino theme and logo, plus recruiting experienced gaming professionals to plan and run the operation," said Ray Sims, president of Bayview Partners.

Meanwhile down the Mississippi River in Jackson, the state Supreme Court sided with gaming regulators in designating Big Black River as an unsuitable site for a dockside casino.

Leaders in Vicksburg, which has four River casinos, fought a casino company and property owner over a proposed race track and casino on the Big Black River. As far back as 1996, the Gaming Commission was against the Warren County site being a proper location for a casino.

State law allows casinos in Gulf Coast and Mississippi River counties that have approved gambling. The city of Vicksburg opposes the Big Black site on the grounds that it would take a major portion of gamblers out of Jackson.