Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson Disparages State Supreme Court’s Biloxi Tidelands Lease
Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson voiced his critique regarding the March 2023 ruling by the state Supreme Court. The decision in question permitted Biloxi to issue a contract for the development of a new pier on state-controlled tidelands. This will pave the way for a new casino resort on the Gulf Coast.
The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in favor of Biloxi officials and allowed them to contract a private company to construct a $3 million pier with handicap accessible facilities. RW Development, the company involved, has been pursuing approval for a casino project in Biloxi for the past 15 years. Despite numerous rejections from the Mississippi Gaming Commission, the recent court ruling has presented the opportunity for RW Development to proceed with its plans.
Secretary of State Watson firmly disagrees with the court’s decision that allowed the pier project to move forward without gaining state approval. He has expressed concerns about the potential impact of this decision on the state’s tidelands and has vowed to uphold the law despite his disagreement with the ruling.
RW Development is yet to disclose detailed plans for the casino resort, and they have been granted a three-year window to finalize their blueprint and secure approvals from state and local authorities.