St. Tammany Parish outside Slidell is a piece of land that could host the newest casino and resort. The decision to turn this land into something productive comes from the realization that residents from St. Tammany travel to Mississippi for their gambling needs while those in Mississippi don’t return the favor.
Plans are already underway, with people already prospecting how it would be if a casino came to their neighborhood. One brand wants to transfer to St. Tammany Parish, but its efforts are yet to bore any fruits.
Scheduled Bill Hearing Allowing the Transfer Was Postponed
The Louisiana senate committee had earlier scheduled for a bill hearing on allowing the transfer of Bossier City Casino from Los Angeles to St. Tammany. The company wants to move and build new facilities in Tammany. But, the hearing was postponed because the lawmaker expected to vote in support of the bill and missed the seating as he had a fever.
Some observers reported to local media that Senator Mike Fesi is among the senators who are expected to vote in favor of Senate Bill 213. The bill is sponsored by Senator Sharon Hewitt.
Senator Hewitt couldn’t risk allowing the voting to proceed, considering it passed the Judiciary Committee narrowly. During the session last week, the bill was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in 4-3 votes. Senator Gary Smith, a husband to one of the bill’s lobbyists, helped break the tie by voting in favor of the bill.
Page Cortez, the senate president, also ruled that the SB 213 bill should also gain approval from the Finance Committee. This has to happen before the bill is presented to the full senate.
What to Expect
If SB 213 passes all legislature obstacles, Pacific Peninsula Entertainment based in Los Angeles will gain rights to relocate. The company purchased DiamonJacks Casino situated in Bossier City six years ago. In May 2020, the brand announced that they were closing their premises, citing “sudden, unforeseeable market conditions that have resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The decision to permanently close the casino was forced down its throat, considering it was the worst-performing casino in the riverboat, Bossier City Market. If a decision is passed to allow the casino’s relocation, it will move to the northeast shore of Lake Pontchartrain in St. Tammany Parish.
The company will commence by building a $250 million casino in Slidell and using its current idle license to run the facility. The casino will provide multiple jobs for the residents as well as help retain gambling money that continually moves to Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Apart from gambling rooms, the new facility will also host family-friendly attractions such as lazy rivers, water slides, a pool, and many other amenities both adults and children could enjoy.
One of the things that will come with the passing of the SB 213 is allowing locals to participate in decision-making. There will be a referendum in October 2021, where residents will vote for or against reversing the 1996 public decision against casino expansion.
Also, the unused land that will soon become a casino facility will be registered as an approved waterway, adding to the list of approved waterways approved in 1991 law allowing riverboat gambling.
Although Louisiana legislators voted in 2018 to allow riverboat casinos to move to dry land, new facilities will have to set up at authorized waterways.
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