Column: Choctaw Chief Martin stirs the gaming pot

$stalker "Chief Martin stirred the pot over expanding Choctaw gaming to Jackson County several months ago when he initiated the process of getting approval of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to locate a casino on the tribal land.

Under the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, tribes must first enter a compact (virtually a treaty) with the governor of a state before launching a casino in that state.

"They would still be a long way from opening a Coast Casino," says Larry Gregory, director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. While the state agency has no regulatory authority over Indian gaming, it is closely watching the Choctaw move.

Gov. Haley Barbour, who would have to approve the compact, has indicated he opposes the proposed Jackson County casino.

State Gaming Commission Chairman Jerry St. Pe' of Pascagoula, while stopping short of saying his commission is adamantly opposed to the Jackson County tribal casino, said, "My view is not specific to the Choctaws, but I think that it is urgent everybody play by the same rules" in the gaming market on the Coast."

Get the Story:
BILL MINOR: Choctaws' Gulf Coast plans stir controversy (The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal 11/22)