Barbour Signs Casino Bill

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

All 13 hotel-casinos on the Mississippi coast were damaged or destroyed when Katrina slammed ashore Aug. 29.

A new law approved during a special legislative session that ended earlier this month was signed Monday by Gov. Haley Barbour. It allows the casinos to build up to 800 feet inland.

The governor says the bill is about more than gaming. He says it's about providing safety for the casinos and jobs for thousands of displaced workers.

The state legalized casinos in 1990, but restricted them to the waters of the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The new law does not affect river casinos.

About 14,000 people worked for the coast casinos before Katrina.

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