Opposition to Jones County casino grows

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A Mississippi congressman has joined the growing ranks of state and local officials opposed to a gaming casino in Jones County.

Third District Congressman Greg Harper has sent a letter to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians asking them to drop plans to build an $18 million casino in the Bogue Homa community.

The proposed casino is located on tribal land near Sandersville.

Harper said, while the project is probably legal under federal gambling laws, there is no local support for it outside the tribe.

Governor Haley Barbour and Lt. Governor Phil Bryant have already stated their active opposition to the project.

In addition, some county supervisors are questioning the project and a newly formed grassroots organization known as the coalition for family and community values is mounting a campaign to fight it.

Harper's congressional district includes Jones County, but not that portion where the casino would be located. Harper said the 8-7 vote by the tribal council to approve the project shows there is some opposition within the tribe itself.

The tribe hopes to open the 27,000-square-foot casino in December.

Copyright 2010 WDAM. All rights reserved.