Money from sports bets could mean new high school in Tunica County

You can expect a lot of money moving on bets this weekend with the World Series, college football, NFL and more.

Tunica County is looking to use money from sports betting at its casinos to help with education and retain its population.

The Tunica County Board of Supervisors voted to use the gaming revenue generated by sports betting on a new high school in the county.

”Our children need a new school and people are betting and losing money and whatever. I think it would be good for a school,” said Loretta Lenair of Tunica County.

Sports betting at Tunica casinos generates about $1 million a year in the county.

The state legislature and school board would have to approve earmarking that money.

The state has controlled Tunica County schools for years but a local school board will be voted in by 2025.

The money could be used as early as then to build a new high school, replacing Rosa Fort High School. Parts of the current high school were built as long ago as 1955.

There are concerns about security and students having to change class outside.

”A lot of people are leaving the county because the school is not adequate. It hasn’t had anything done to it since I left,” Lenair said. “They built some more to it. They built some more to it but they still need an update.”

In the 1990s, when the county was flush with casino cash, an elementary school and a middle school were built.

A new high school was in the works then but never was built.

Now that sports betting has been a source of revenue for the last four years, it looks like it might finally happen.

One man told FOX13 that the money would be better spent elsewhere because parts of the high school are new.

Alex Bennett of Tunica County disagrees.

“Yeah, there will be more people that come and a lot more jobs for people, too,” Bennett said.

The school system, which years ago was failing, has earned its first B-rating ever this year and some here say a new school would keep that momentum going.

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