Senate Bill 316 is a piece of legislation that would allow casino riverboats in Louisiana move on to land, as well as address limitations that currently exist involving casino floors. On April 24th, the Senate voted in favor of the legislation 22 to 14, with the bill now moving on to the House for consideration.
If approved, the bill would change the gambling area of riverboats from being limited to 30,000 square feet in size. The riverboat casinos would have the ability to apply for land-based operations and if approved, would be able to move of land, no more than 1,200 from their existing position. As a safety feature, applicants would have to provide a plan to the state Gaming Control Board that shows a significant economic development.
The point is to not allow the riverboat casinos to move into a warehouse and then place slot machines inside. The plans need to be significant and show that operators are serious about offering something exciting to customers.
Casino Bill Moves to Next Step of Being Approved
Now that the bill has moved forward, the House Criminal Justice Committee will now hear the bill this week. On representative on the Committee is in support. Representative Stephen Dwight has shown his support of the measure and could help push the legislation forward. The Representative does not see the changes as an expansion of gaming but simply bringing the regulations into present day.
According to Dwight, the pros of gambling also outweigh the cons. The state has seen an increase in revenues and jobs and has not seen an increase in negatives such as drugs or crime.
When it comes to the language of the bill, the space issue came to light due to newer technology. The games being created today are larger than older models so less games fit in the space allowed. In order to have the newer technology, operators have to cut back on the number of games they provide. With the new legislation, the space issue will no longer be a problem which will help with providing more games for customers.