House chairman: Let Choctaws build Jones casino

Published 1:38 pm Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The chairman of the state House Gaming Committee says the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians should be able to develop a proposed casino on tribal land in Jones County.

Democratic Rep. Bobby Moak of Bogue Chitto on Monday became the latest elected official to weigh in on the project, even though he — like others — has no authority over whether the Choctaws move forward with the casino.

Moak says courts have upheld a gaming compact that then-Gov. Kirk Fordice signed with the Choctaws in 1992.

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Gov. Haley Barbour and six other Republican statewide elected officials have asked the Choctaws to withdraw plans for the casino, which would have 500 to 700 slot machines. It would be a $17 million investment, employing about 250 people.