Local Officials React to Fertitta's Casino Building Advice

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Updated: 5/08/2014 6:32 pm
Wednesday, News 25 brought you the story about a big wig casino executive saying he thinks the gaming commission should hold off on allowing more casinos to be built on the Coast. Thursday, News 25 found out what the commission and local officials thought about the unconventional advice. Too much of anything isn't necessarily good.

Wednesday, Golden Nugget owner, Tilman Fertitta, told the opening session of this year’s Southern Gaming Summit that the Mississippie casino market is quickly reaching a saturation point. Fertitta says, "Anybody who thinks adding a new casino today is going to add more tax dollars, any politician who thinks that is just wrong." City Manager of D’Iberville, Bobby Eleutarius, says he understands that Fertitta doesn't want to see any more competition, but stands by his decision to bring the Scarlet Pearl to D’Iberville. Eleutarius says, "Everybody has a right to their opinion, and at some time there was a concern, but if you look around, the Coast is doing real well with casinos right now where other areas of the country are not."

According to Eleuterius, there is marketing research that supports his belief in success. Eleutarius also says, "And that marketing showed that if ten people cross that bridge to go to gaming, four of them are gonna’ stop in D'Iberville first." According to Allen Godfrey, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, as long as Mississippi’s neighboring states don’t become more competitive in the gaming industry, the Gulf Coast should have room to grow. Godfrey says, "I think the future of gaming on the Mississippi Gulf Coast looks very bright. I think that’s evident on the capital expenditures that are being spent right now."

Commissioner Godfrey says this week showed him that gaming facilities all across the south are facing stiff competition and are learning how to reinvent themselves and are learning that slots and game tables aren't always enough to attract guests.

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