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Water To Land: Louisiana Casino Legislation Moves Forward

Sadonna Price

Riverboat casinos in the state of Louisiana may soon be moving to dry land, if legislation that recently passed within a Senate committee is able to become law. A bill that would loosen regulations on riverboat casinos is gaining ground, with potential for the gaming venues to come ashore and offer even more games for visitors.

One bill was passed this week that would allow the casinos to move a maximum of 1,200 from the shoreline. This measure is sponsored by Senator Ronnie Johns and a move that the gaming venues would like to see take shape.

Now that the measure has moved out of the Committee, it will be reviewed by the full Senate for consideration. The bill would also allow the riverboat casinos to expand operations once on the shore. The areas that provided gaming will be able to have a maximum of 2,365 gaming positions. The term gaming positions takes into account the number of slot games or seats that are used at roulette games or blackjack tables.

There are currently 15 riverboat casinos in operation in the state, with New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Lake Charles providing the waterways for the facilities. The goal of John’s bill is to allow the state’s riverboat casinos to move on to land and offer even more gaming then neighboring states such as Mississippi.

The state already benefits from gaming taxes so with even more games in operation, more funding could be provided. The bill must be approved by the full Senate to move forward and it is unclear how much support the measure has with all lawmakers of the state.

Over the next few weeks, we should see if the bill will progress and if changes to the gambling industry of Louisiana will be in the works. If the bill fails to move forward, riverboat gaming will continue, with no additional gaming or larger facilities constructed.

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