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Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway Ratifies City Council's RW Development Re-Zoning Case
Proposal Could Open Biloxi Strip to Casinos

GCN  Filed 4/8/08

Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway this afternoon ratified the City Council’s vote for a zoning change that would allow a casino component of the proposed RW Development mixed-use project, known as Gold Coast, in west Biloxi.

Developers would now ask the Mississippi Gaming Commission to declare the site a legal and suitable gaming location.

Holloway said he gave the matter much consideration, particularly since he vetoed a previous proposal in east Biloxi.

“Since there is already development on the south side of the Biloxi Strip, near where Gold Coast is proposing to be located, I do not believe this project would create pressure to open the entire beachfront to casino gaming,” Holloway said. “In fact, this land was zoned for casino development from 1993 until recently, so we’re not changing the rules for the casino resorts that are already here.”

While Holloway and the City Council have approved the zoning change, the issue of whether the site will meet the requirements of the State Gaming Commission have not yet been seen. The case on RW Development's proposal will be considered the the state gaming agency in the near future. There have been indications that the state sees control of the water's edge a key argument. The Biloxi strip area does have land south of U.S. 90, but the beach remains public land, and would remain so even if the area is determined to meet the commission's guidelines.

Regardless, the issue of whether a casino, or casinos, can be built in the newly re-zoned area needs to be completely clarified if the area is to redevelop.

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