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Rotate Black rotates back with 'perfect size casino' plan

Casino_rouletter_wheel RGBGULFPORT — The rocky start for the proposed Hemingway Resort and Casino at the Gulfport Harbor is all in the past, said company CEO John Paulsen.

Paulsen said the project is alive and progressing.

Since missing the April 1 deadline to show it had the financial backing to build the casino resort, Paulsen tells The Sun Herald that Rotate Black has restructured the company and met the Mississippi Gaming Commission’s guidelines.

The project that originally was approved at $112 million now is $170 million, according to the annual 10-K report Rotate Black filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The report says the company expects the completion and grand opening of the project in the fall of 2016.

On Nov. 12, Rotate Black signed an agreement with an unnamed financial adviser to seek funding for the casino.

“We’ve got a good, strong financial partner,” Paulsen said Wednesday.

Financing of the resort is contemplated to include $115 million of senior secured notes, $25 million of new Rotate Black Inc. equity and $5 million of equity invested to date, the SEC report said.

Rotate Black paid fees to amend and extend the leases at the port after missing the development deadline, the company said, and recently secured financing through promissory notes and loans to continue to work toward getting the casino built.

To meet state requirements, Paulsen said the resort will be built with 53,000 square feet of casino space and have 1,388 slot machines and 33 table games. It also will have a 300-room hotel with 40 suites and 260 traditional rooms, a 120-seat steak house, a 240-seat buffet, a casual-dining cafe and a Hemingway Bar with outdoor seating and views of the marina. A parking garage and parking lot will accommodate 1,200 vehicles.

Paulsen said filing the annual report, which was due in June, is one of the first pieces to getting the casino project ready to send back to the Gaming Commission. The next step is getting the financial commitments ready and Paulsen said he never felt better that all the pieces are falling into place.

 

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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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