Starkville Daily News - - FO­RUM -

has about 11,000 mem­bers now, up from about 5,200 in 1994.

“With the grow­ing pop­u­la­tion and over 50 per­cent

of the pop­u­la­tion un­der 25, the need for jobs is there,” An­der­son said. “But what this casino will al­low us to do is to use those funds to rein­vest back into the tribe for gov­ern­ment ser­vices.”

How­ever, Tribal Coun­cil

mem­ber Barry McMil­lan said the pro­posed project, in An­der­son’s home­town, would take away busi­ness from ex­ist­ing casi­nos.

McMil­lan said op­po­nents of the new casino have a good chance of win­ning be­cause

there are of­ten fewer than 3,000 votes cast in a Choctaw elec­tion. He said 1,700 tribal mem­bers have backed ef­fort to bring the is­sue to a vote.

He said the bal­lot con­tains a pro-casino fi­nan­cial

anal­y­sis that men­tions noth­ing about the ex­pected loss of busi­ness to the Sil­ver Star and the Golden Moon. The anal­y­sis also says the tribe “has al­ready missed out on po­ten­tial prof­its of more than $45 mil­lion” for fail­ing

to open three years ago.

The Mis­sis­sippi Gam­ing Com­mis­sion does not reg­u­late Choctaw casi­nos. Twenty-eight non-Choctaw casi­nos op­er­ate in the state along the Mis­sis­sippi River and the Gulf Coast.

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