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.