Treasure Bay returns?

As longtime readers know, my favorite casino in the world was probably the Treasure Bay in Biloxi. There’s nothing much cooler than a riverboat casino that actually looks like a pirate ship. It also had the coolest carpet ever: a treasure map. When I heard that the casino wasn’t insured, I feared that, after being … Read more

MS renewal

The Congress for the New Urbanism, led by Andres Duany, is going to be involved in rebuilding Mississippi. From Building Online: Mississippi Governor Enlists Congress for the New Urbanism in Historic Coastal Planning Effort. Working with Gov. Haley Barbour, a national team of 100 architects, planners, development experts, and other professionals organized by the Chicago-based … Read more

Gambling at the Last Supper?

Another day, another clash between religion and gambling, it seems. First of all, a Mississippi state representative from Pass Christian has called would-be moralists out over their insistence that Katrina was doing God’s bidding:


Rep. Jim Simpson of Pass Christian couldn’t believe the e-mails he received from some self-proclaimed Christians this week attempting to lobby against casinos rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

“I’ve gotten more than half a dozen from people who said, ‘I prayed for the destruction of Katrina. This is God’s wrath,'” said Simpson. “I got so mad I wanted to scream at them. But I didn’t respond. Not yet.”

Many of Simpson’s constituents died in Katrina. He lost his home and his business and pretty much everything he owns.

“I’m going to get together a list of all the obituaries,” Simpson said, “and send them in my response to them. I’m going to send that list and ask, ‘OK, was this part of your prayers? Did you want this to happen?’

Again, I’m not going to claim any kind of moral high ground or divine inspiration, but it seems to me that anyone who prays for harm to befall someone else is pretty twisted.

That’s not the biggest story that mixes gambling with religion today, though. For that we can thank Paddy Power, an Irish bookmaking company that felt it would be a tremendous laugh to restyle Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous Last Supper–as a gambling party.

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Rebuilding the Gulf Coast

The major casino companies involved in the Gulf Coast have already announced that they intend to rebuild. But will it be on land or water?
Mississippi gov. Haley Barbour, speaking more broadly of the general reconstruction of the region, said that “if we rebuild the Coast and South Mississippi back just the way it was before, we will have failed.” So does that mean that the legislature will change the state’s gaming laws to allow for casinos on land?

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Gulf Coast update

Projections of the damage caused by Katrina, it seems, keep getting worse. The governor of Mississippi was quoted as saying that all Gulf Coast casinos had been completely destroyed. Even if it’s not that dire, it looks very bad. Any destruction of property, of course, pales beside the loss of human life, just as any talk of rebuilding takes a back seat to the immediate effort to save lives.

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