Issue 99
July 29 - August 4, 2002
Volume 3
page 2

Mississippi Marks Ten Years of Dockside Gambling

BILOXI, MS – /South Mississippi Sun Herald/ - The East Biloxi skyline is lit up in the neon of casinos that have taken over the landscape since August 1992, when the state's first dockside casino opened.

Before the first casino was built, the East Biloxi waterfront was dominated by seafood plants and shrimp boat docks.

Since the original riverboats dropped anchor on the Coast a decade ago, Mississippi's gambling industry has never sat still.

August 1 marks the 10th birthday of dockside gambling in South Mississippi, a decade after the Isle of Capri's two paddle-wheelers opened up to gamblers and gawkers at Biloxi's Point Cadet.

State Sen. Tommy Gollott tumbled the first pair of dice across the green felt. He crapped out. Then-Biloxi Port Commission Chairman Joe Creel plunked the first coin in a slot machine, only to lose his money. Thousands boarded the Isle's two riverboats to hand over their money and celebrate the privilege to do so.

The fast pace set by paddle-wheel riverboats never lost steam.

Mississippi is now home to 31 casinos that have invested a combined $4.5 billion in buildings, equipment and amenities. They employ more than 33,000 people with an annual payroll of almost $1 billion. Last year alone, state casinos

paid $321 million in state and local taxes on their gambling proceeds, nearly $40 million in payroll assessments and millions more in local fees, sales and property taxes.

Galaxy to Open Temporary Casino in Macau - MACAU, CHINA - The Galaxy Casino Company, which obtained one of the three new casino licenses in Macau, is poised for the operation of a temporary casino in the Macao Special Administration Region (SAR) at the end of this year.

The Galaxy, part-owned by American entertainment corporation Venetian and Hong Kong property magnate Lui Chi-woo, has been given a 20-year commission on casino operation and plans to investas much as 8.8 billion patacas (US$1.1 billion) in Macau in the coming 10 years.

What the Galaxy wants to build in Macau before 2006 is a theme casino building featuring Renaissance-style opulence, with gondolas slowly floating down a canal inside the complex.

Connecticut Casinos Tax All Big Winners - PROVIDENCE, RI - A new law passed by Connecticut’s Gov. John G. Rowland, will require that non-Connecticut residents file a 1099 form to pay tax on gambling income earned in the state. Taxable gambling income includes lottery, bingo, slots, keno and other gambling winnings. The law was passed July 1 and is retroactive to Jan. 1. Sarah Kaufman, director of communications for the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, explained that taxing out-of-state residents is part of an initiative to reduce state deficit. "This is another measure we hope will help reduce the current state debt," says Kaufman. "It's also aimed at making the tax structure more equitable for nonresidents and residents." Michael Benevides, an accountant from Benevides & Turano in Westerly, said the tax is unfair to everyone, not just those living out of state. The new law amounts to people paying tax on income "that doesn't even exist," says Benevides. Even if you lose $2,000 and win $500, you have to pay tax on the amount you won.

Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge will performa at Hard Rock Hotel Casino's The Joint on August 25.

Price: $65.50, $80.50, $90.50, $105.50

Showtime: 8:00 p.m.

Reservations: Reservations Recommended

For more information please call: (800) HRD-ROCK
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