- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 30, 2016

D’IBERVILLE, Miss. (AP) - The Poarch Band of Creek Indians has purchased land that was formerly the site of the proposed Royal D’Iberville casino in D’Iberville.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1UBus1K ) Biloxi attorney Michael Cavanaugh says the sale of the land closed Friday. Mark Seymour Sr. and Terry Moran worked for years to get the project built but were unable to do so.

In a statement, the Poarch Creek Indian Gaming Authority said, “PCI Gaming Authority monitors events throughout the Southeast that represent opportunities for our investment consideration. This particular property was brought to our attention and after evaluation we felt it represented an excellent investment opportunity that, regardless whether we pursue development now, in the future or never, that land will hold its value,”

The statement concluded, “We continue to evaluate development opportunities and the Mississippi Gulf Coast gaming market is one we may seek to enter at some future time.”

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians, according to their website, are descendants of a segment of the original Creek Nation and have lived together for almost 200 years in and around the reservation in Poarch, Ala. If the PCI Gaming Authority decides to build a casino at the D’Iberville site, it would pay casino tax required of all commercial casinos in Mississippi.



Allen Godfrey, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, said for any Native American casino operator in the state that builds off the reservation, “We won’t treat them any differently than any other applicant.”

Poarch Creek Indian Gaming manages three Alabama casinos — the Wind Creek Casino & Hotel in Atmore, Creek Casino Wetumpka and Creek Casino Montgomery — along with poker games and race tracks in Gretna, Ala., and Pensacola, Fla.

Scarlet Pearl Casino was the first casino resort to open in D’Iberville in December and the 12th in South Mississippi and Godfrey said, “We have a very strong gaming market on the Gulf Coast right now.”

Mark Seymour Sr. and Terry Moran worked for years on their dream to build Royal D’Iberville Casino, fought challenges and had it declared a legal site. Seymour, who died in 2010 before the dream was realized, kept a rendering of the resort under glass on his desk.

“I think it’s the best site in Mississippi,” he told the Sun Herald.

Seymour and Moran planned a 60,000-square-foot casino with a 400-room hotel and a parking garage on the 7.6 acres. They envisioned an open-air French market underneath the casino with elevated shops and restaurants and a marina.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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