Thursday, November 29, 2007

Choctaws ought to have a clear view that they will face opposition if they continue to pursue a casino in Jackson County

Given the Ocean Springs Board's opposition, the referendum and Monday's vote by the supervisors, the Choctaws ought to have a clear view that they will face opposition if they continue to pursue a casino in Jackson County.

However, after the election Choctaw leader Miko Beasley Denson said the tribe would continue the process to obtain approval for a casino. The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the governor must approve a casino.

The referendum outcome and votes by local elected officials send a signal to the governor's office that countering the wishes of Jackson County may have adverse political consequences. The Bureau of Indian Affairs ought to see a public record of opposition to the casino.

The Choctaws have spotted an economic opportunity in Jackson County. Perhaps there is something other than a casino that can achieve the tribe's financial goals without compromising the will of the Jackson County voters.

The casino proposal is behind us, but Jackson County would be wise to keep an eye on it.

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