Slidell Metropolis Council Rejects St. Tammany Parish On line casino Referendum


Posted on: April 29, 2021, 09:13h. 

Final up to date on: April 29, 2021, 12:46h.

The Slidell Metropolis Council in Louisiana this week voted in opposition to a proposed poll referendum that may enable residents in St. Tammany Parish to resolve whether or not they want to elevate a long-standing ban on industrial playing.

Slidell Louisiana St. Tammany Parish casino
A public assembly concerning on line casino playing hosted by the Slidell Metropolis Council turned out a big crowd. The council finally refused to endorse an initiative to permit residents to vote on whether or not to authorize playing within the parish. (Picture: The New Orleans Advocate)

With two of the 9 metropolis council members absent from Tuesday night time’s assembly, the on line casino referendum difficulty required 5 votes in help to achieve the native authorities’s backing. After two hours of fervent debate, solely 4 metropolis council members lent their approval to putting a playing query earlier than voters in November.

I refuse to gamble with Slidell’s future and our safety,” declared council member-at-large Glynn Pichon. 

Councilmember David Dunham, who was one of many 4 who voted in favor of the on line casino decision, argued that the council ought to help permitting residents — not lawmakers or native officers — to have the ultimate say on whether or not they need to overturn the 1996 parish vote that prohibited industrial riverboat playing.

“What we’re deciding is only a symbolic measure,” Dunham mentioned. “What’s extra American than with the ability to vote for one thing?”

Vote Has No Authorized Bearing

Peninsula Pacific Leisure (P2E) closed its DiamondJacks On line casino in Bossier Metropolis final yr in the course of the pandemic. The California-based on line casino operator needs to relocate its gaming license to an space much less saturated with on line casino riverboats. The corporate believes it has discovered a perfect website in Slidell on the Lakeshore Marina.

However for the state to permit P2E to construct a brand new on line casino and produce its gaming allow south, St. Tammany Parish residents must log out on permitting industrial playing. 

Senate Invoice 213, launched by Sen. Sharon Hewitt (R-Slidell), seeks to put the gaming referendum query earlier than parish voters. The invoice handed the Louisiana Senate Judiciary Committee final week and is presently within the chamber’s Finance Committee. 

If the legislation passes the Senate and Home and is subsequently signed by the governor, St. Tammany Parish voters would weigh in on the on line casino matter in November. The Slidell Metropolis Council’s refusal to again the referendum has no bearing on the invoice in Baton Rouge, aside from maybe leading to some state lawmakers altering their opinion on whether or not to help the decision.

Parish Anti-Playing Attitudes

1 / 4 of a century in the past, voters in St. Tammany Parish simply rejected a movement to legalize riverboat playing. The difficulty garnered simply 38 % help. 

Twenty-five years later, some imagine anti-gambling attitudes have modified. In the course of the 2020 presidential election, 67.3 % of St. Tammany voters gave their help to permitting sports activities betting to function throughout the parish.

P2E says if residents elevate the ban on playing within the parish, it will make investments greater than $250 million to construct a brand new on line casino resort. That might create 1,700 building jobs and 1,000 everlasting positions thereafter.  

Whereas the Slidell Metropolis Council won’t endorse the poll referendum, in February the St. Tammany Parish Council did. The parish council voted 11-1 in favor of the decision. 

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