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Casino looks for approval

NATCHEZ — Magnolia Bluffs Casino representatives will appear before the Mississippi Gaming Commission today at the commission’s meeting in Natchez for approval of a gaming license for the casino.

MGC Executive Director Allen Godfrey said the commission will also decide whether to approve applications for findings of suitability for stakeholders in the casino.

The suitability investigations are standard procedure and involve exhaustive criminal, financial and business background checks.

The applications for findings of suitability up for approval at the meeting are from Mary M. Lane, Nancy K. Thomason, Robert A. Lubin, Steven E. Hartman and Kevin Preston. Preston is the president on Premier Gaming Group, the parent company of Natchez Casino OpCo. The others are investors and members of the casino’s board of directors.

Additional applications for findings of suitability and registration for companies owned by investors and members of the board of directors are also on the commission’s agenda.

Preston said he is looking forward to receiving the license for the casino today.

“We’re excited about (today) and looking forward to getting this thing opened and continuing to be a strong part of the community,” he said.

Mayor Butch Brown said he will be attending the meeting, but he said he is unsure if he will address the commission. He said he has passed on his concerns about the casino’s non-gaming infrastructure requirement and fire protection to the commission.

“We’re certainly not going to use those issues to prohibit them from going forward,” he said. “We wish them well and look forward to the revenue they will bring to the city.”

Godfrey said Magnolia Bluffs Casino representatives should not have to appear before the commission for any additional approvals. He said, however, once the slot machines are in the casino, they will have to be tested and approved by the gaming commission.

The city will also have to issue a certificate of occupancy before the casino can open. The scheduled opening is Dec. 21.

The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. in the ballroom of the Natchez Grand Hotel.

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