St. Tammany Parish Council Formally Approves On line casino Poll Referendum
Posted on: July 2, 2021, 12:05h.
Final up to date on: July 1, 2021, 05:46h.
It’s official. On November 13, voters in St. Tammany Parish will resolve whether or not they want to elevate a ban on business playing and permit a on line casino resort to be inbuilt Slidell, La.
Throughout a particular assembly this week, the council voted 8-6 to put the on line casino referendum query on the parish poll.
In favor had been Councilmembers Mike Lorino, Rykert Toledano, Maureen O’Brien, Jimmie Davis, Steve Stefancik, Martha Cazaubon, Marty Dean, and Cheryl Tanner. The six in opposition had been Jerry Binder, T.J. Smith, Chris Canulette, David Fitzgerald, Jake Airey, and Mike Smith.
On November 13, if a easy majority of parish voters say “sure” to permitting a on line casino on the Lakeshore Marina on Lake Pontchartrain, the mission shall be cleared to maneuver ahead. However earlier than that vote happens, political campaigning concerning the controversial mission shall be in full power.
Gaming Vote Precursor
Peninsula Pacific Leisure (P2E) is behind the St. Tammany Parish on line casino push. The on line casino operator completely closed its DiamondJacks On line casino in Bossier Metropolis final yr. It’s looking for a extra fascinating market in Louisiana with much less competitors, and believes it discovered such a web site in Slidell.
The final time St. Tammany thought-about lifting its playing ban was again in 1996. Sixty-two % of voters stated “No.” However the gaming panorama nationally, and in Louisiana, has tremendously modified over the previous quarter-century. Some imagine there’s now enough assist regionally within the parish to welcome playing.
Final November, voters in every of Louisiana’s 64 parishes had been requested in the event that they wish to authorize sports activities betting of their county after state legal guidelines are handed offering for such regulation. Sixty-seven % of St. Tammany votes solid stated “Sure.”
P2E says its $325 million funding will convey much-needed jobs and tax income to St. Tammany. The on line casino has pledged to share 5 % of its annual gross gaming income with the parish, forecast to be round $9 million a yr.
Non secular Opposition
This week’s St. Tammany Parish assembly lasted a number of hours, as the general public voiced sturdy positions for and in opposition to the on line casino.
The first opposition got here from non secular leaders locally. They argue that whereas gaming attitudes may need modified since 1996, the societal dangers related to casinos haven’t altered.
Pastors stated the on line casino would possibly create some jobs and generate tax income, however that can pale compared to the harm brought on by damaged marriages, bankruptcies, suicides, and crime.
A mecca of immorality, crime, and monetary fallout,” is how Rev. John Raymond summarized the subject at hand. However supporters stated the individuals — not councilmembers — ought to have the ultimate say.
“Allow us to resolve,” stated Ronald Reeves, who owns a house in Slidell.
P2E employed a slew of lobbyists who efficiently satisfied legislators in Baton Rouge to cross a invoice that permits the on line casino referendum to happen. Now, the on line casino firm will doubtless spend closely in campaigning for a “sure” vote come November.