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Buffett wins approval for Miss. casino plan

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BILOXI, Miss. (AP) -- Plans for Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant along the Mississippi Gulf Coast have been approved by state gambling regulators.

On Thursday, the Mississippi Gaming Commission backed plans for a $48 million resort with a

68,000-square-foot casino and restaurant, along with retail stores, an events center and a marina. The project will be built along Biloxi's Back Bay.

The target date for opening is the spring of 2012.

In 2007, Buffett, a native of Pascagoula, Miss., and Harrah's Entertainment Inc. -- now known as Caesars Entertainment Corp. -- announced plans to build a $700 million casino-hotel on the beach. That resort was scheduled to open in 2010 but now sits unfinished after construction stopped in 2008 in the wake of the economic meltdown.

Buffet then joined with casino veteran Tom Brosig and other investors to build a more-casual and less costly resort.


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