The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians overwhelmingly rejected a proposed $25 million casino in the Red Water community of Leake County in Thursday’s special referendum with 1,506 votes to 710, or 67.5 percent.

The proposed casino failed in all Tribal communities except for Red Water, where voters favored it 141 votes to 70.

After the votes were tallied, Chief Phyllis J. Anderson said the Tribe would “continue to explore other opportunities to build on our existing success.”

She said the results showed that “the will of the people is not to expand in the Red Water community and I respect the decision of our voters. My commitment to our Tribe and people is to always do what I feel is in the best interest of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.”

Other returns by communities with “yes” votes listed first:

• Bogue Chitto: 75-225.

• Bogue Chitto-Henning, Tenn.: 4-34.

• Bogue Homa: 11-77.

• Conehatta: 79-214.

• Crystal Ridge: 18-39.

• Pearl River: 230 to 557.

• Standing Pine: 91-115.

• Tucker: 61-175.

Earlier this year, the Tribal Council voted 9-7 for Resolution CHO 17-033: A Resolution to Expand Gaming and Make Resort Area Designation in the Red Water community on the Choctaw Indian Reservation.

However, a judge in Choctaw Tribal Court ruled that a legally sufficient number of valid petitions were submitted as required by the MBCI Constitution and Tribal Election Code to call the referendum election.

Rather than appeal, Chief Anderson said in a statement at that time that legal proceedings would stop and the Tribe would vote on whether or not the $25 million project should proceed.

Plans called for a 35,800-square-foot casino at Red Water with 500 slots, 10 table games, grab-and-go and seated restaurants.

It was expected to create more than 200 new jobs and roughly $50 million in annual revenue, Anderson said.

Opponents said the project would take business away from existing casinos.

The Red Water Casino would have been the Tribe’s fourth in the state.

The Tribe operates two interlinked casinos off Mississippi 16 west in the Pearl River community in Neshoba County,  as well as one in the Bok Homa community near Sandersville in Jones County.