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Tribe members drop Choctaw casino challenge

SANDERSVILLE — Three members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaws Indians have dropped their challenge to the location of a casino on tribal lands in Jones County.

The Laurel Leader-Call reports that Vickie Rangel, who led the group that had fought for an election on the casino, notified tribal officials this week that no other challenges would be pursued.

Rangel and others sought a tribe-wide election in June shortly after the Tribal Council voted 8-7 to approve the building of the casino in Sandersville, north of Laurel.

Tribal Judge Jeffrey Webb ruled in August that tribal Election Commission acted properly in denying the petition.

About 500 to 700 slot machines and a snack shop are planned for the 27,000-square-foot casino. It is scheduled to open in mid-December with about 250 workers.

The office of tribal chief Beasley Denson have declined comment on Rangel’s decision.

The Choctaws operate two casinos in Neshoba County. The Choctaw casinos are not regulated by the state. Mississippi has 30 state-regulated casinos that operate along the waters of the Mississippi River and near the Gulf Coast.

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