Sen. Gollott recalls the birth of coast gaming

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.