JACKSON, Miss. (WLOX) – The appointment of the leader of Mississippi’s casino and gaming industry is stalled in the legislature.
Gov. Tate Reeves has reappointed Al Hopkins as Chairman of the Gaming Commission, a position he’s served in since 2015. Senate gaming chair Sen. David Blount who has the authority to bring the nomination up for a vote is raising his concerns over the nomination.
Blount, a Democrat, said he doesn’t know Hopkins’ position on changing the rules for where casinos can locate.
On Twitter, Gov. Reeves expressed his disapproval of Blount’s position saying “This is a partisan attack by a liberal Democrat because he doesn’t like the Republican Governor.”
It’s all a lie. This is a partisan attack by a liberal Democrat because he doesn’t like the Republican Governor. The LG can end this charade. He should. Or he can choose to stand behind the Democrats.
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 30, 2022
Blount responded by saying this isn’t about politics.
“I want to keep the rules the same as they’ve been since Katrina,” said Blount. “The fact is the Gaming Commission which is in the executive branch has the legal authority to change those rules. If Mr. Hopkins would say he has no intention of changing those rules from the way they are today, which has built this industry and made it successful I’m happy to move forward with his appointment.”
If Mr. Hopkins will state his opposition the 2016 proposal to expand gaming in the Coast I am happy to support his confirmation. Where does he stand?
— David Blount (@SenDavidBlount) March 30, 2022
If the governor’s appointment isn’t approved by the full senate by the end of the legislative session the position will go vacant.
WLOX reached out for a comment from Gaming Commission Chairman Al Hopkins and didn’t hear back.
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