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Choctaws agree to share casino revenue

Pascagoula, Mississippi (AP) 9-07

The Mississippi Band of Choctaws is willing to give 4 percent of the gross gaming revenue from a proposed casino to local governments, Chief Beasley Denson has told Jackson County supervisors.

The fee would be equal to the amount commercial casinos pay in local taxes in Harrison and Hancock counties, Denson said during September 25th meeting with the board.

The Choctaws have proposed a $375 million casino project on Mississippi Highway 57 near Ocean Springs.

Denson said the impact fees would generate about $7 million each year for the county and city governments to help pay for the demands on roads and services.

The proposed casino would have more than 2,300 slot machines and a 400-seat buffet. The hotel would feature 1,100 rooms, a theater, indoor and outdoor pools and a fitness center.

Mississippi Choctaws also run the Silver Star and Golden Moon casinos on tribal land near Philadelphia, Miss.

Gov. Haley Barbour and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs will have a say over whether the Choctaws can put a casino in Jackson County.

A nonbinding countywide referendum on the Choctaw casino is scheduled for Nov. 6, the same day as the statewide elections for governor and other offices.

Information from:
The Sun Herald, www.sunherald.com , and The Mississippi Press, www.gulflive.com.

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