Louisiana Senate Committee Passes Slidell On line casino Invoice


Posted on: April 21, 2021, 07:56h. 

Final up to date on: April 21, 2021, 11:01h.

An effort in Louisiana to relocate a riverboat on line casino license from Bossier Metropolis to Slidell in St. Tammany Parish made progress this week within the state senate. 

Louisiana casino Slidell St. Tammany Parish
The closed DiamondJacks On line casino Resort is seen locked up. House owners of the property and its Louisiana on line casino license hope to construct a brand new gaming resort in Slidell. (Picture: KTBS)

Senate Invoice 213, authored by Sen. Sharon Hewitt (R-Slidell), narrowly handed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday by a 4-3 vote.

If the invoice passes the Senate and Home of Representatives and is then signed by Gov. John bel Edwards (D), it strikes to a public poll. Voters in St. Tammany could be requested through the November 2021 election whether or not they want to permit business playing within the parish. 

It’s about giving our local people the chance to vote,” Hewitt defined of her laws. 

Solely a easy majority assist is required to finish the present prohibition that bans casinos inside St. Tammany. 

Relocating DiamondJacks

The marketing campaign to position a on line casino in Slidell is being pushed by Peninsula Pacific Leisure (P2E). The on line casino operator closed its DiamondJacks On line casino in Bossier Metropolis amid the pandemic final 12 months. 

P2E says Bossier Metropolis is oversaturated with riverboat casinos. It has pinpointed Slidell as a extra engaging market. Slidell is roughly 30 miles northeast of New Orleans throughout Lake Pontchartrain. 

With state and native voter assist, P2E says it will spend $250 million to construct a brand new gaming vacation spot on 100 acres of land simply off Interstate 10 on the Lakeshore Marina. 

The final time an effort to allow riverboat playing in St. Tammany got here again in 1996. Voters simply rejected the referendum, 62 % saying “no” to playing.

Attitudes in direction of playing, P2E hopes, have since modified. The parish was considered one of 64 parishes that signed off final November on permitting sports activities betting to happen inside their limits. 

P2E holds one of many state’s 15 riverboat gaming permits. A 2018 regulation, nevertheless, permits riverboats to request permission from the Louisiana Gaming Management Board for the privilege to maneuver inland, as long as they continue to be inside 1,200 ft of water. 

Controversy Surrounds Vote

The Advocate stories that Sen. Gary Smith (D-Norco), who chairs the Louisiana Senate Judiciary Committee, forged the tiebreaking vote in okaying the Slidell on line casino invoice. Smith’s spouse, nevertheless, is a longtime lobbyist in Baton Rouge and has been employed by P2E to foyer on behalf of its Slidell on line casino ambitions.

She didn’t inform me,” Smith stated of his spouse’s P2E work to The Advocate. “Any involvement by her wouldn’t change my opinion that letting the individuals of that space vote on the difficulty is the right vote.”

P2E says its Slidell on line casino would create 1,700 building jobs and 1,900 everlasting positions thereafter. The parish would profit straight from a 5 % tax on all gross gaming income being earmarked to remain regionally. 

The St. Tammany Parish Council in February endorsed the hassle to permit voters to resolve in the event that they want to finish the world’s prohibition on playing. 

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