Last week’s news that a Louisiana Indian tribe wants to build a casino in Tishomingo County came as a surprise to many Mississippians.
That surprise quickly changed to irritation and anger. Residents, local officials and a number of our state and congressional leaders have voiced opposition to the proposal from the Jena Choctaw Tribe of Louisiana to build a gambling hall along U.S. 72. Hopefully, this vigorous opposition will help kill the deal — a deal that would be bad for Mississippi business.
Gaming has become a vital component of our state’s economy, and while we recognize the economic contributions made by the casinos on the Coast and along the Mississippi River, as well as the contributions of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, we do not need an out-of-state Indian tribe coming into the state with gleaming dollar signs in their eyes. Such a move would hurt existing businesses and do nothing to enhance economic development.
The process for locating a casino in Tishomingo County will be a tough deal to swing for the Jena Choctaw Tribe of Louisiana. Strong local opposition makes it unlikely that the Bureau of Indian Affairs will approve the project.
It would be in the best interest of Mississippi and the Louisiana tribe if this plan was withdrawn immediately.