The year was 1990. Many of the seafood plants in Gollott’s district had shut their doors. People were out of work, and the economy needed a jolt. Jobs were one issue, but so was something else.
“We had illegal gambling going on along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and I wanted to legalize it, because all the money was going to the black market, which was not going to the state,” Gollott recalled.
He believed gaming could provide a spark, but it was a tough sell to his colleagues in this Bible belt state, despite the prospect of new tax money.
“They love the money, but a lot of them hate the gambling.”
Gollott said that resistance was everywhere.