Louisiana In Dire Need of a New Gambling Legislation
According to the information coming from Louisiana, the state’s 15 riverboats casinos could soon become land-based venues.
This move has been recommended by the Riverboat Economic Development and Gaming Task Force, which also suggested that its recommendations should be incorporated into the state’s new gambling legislation.
We’ll Have To Wait a Bit More
The new draft will be presented in March, and Senator Ronnie Johns, who will sponsor the bill, said the gambling industry had a huge on the budget and added he hoped the Legislature would realize that.
Under the provisions of the new bill, riverboat casinos will be allowed to operate within 1,200 feet of where they are currently moored. The new piece of legislation will also allow bigger gaming floors (bigger than 30,000 square feet, which is the current limit), with up to 2,365 gaming positions.
Louisiana was among the first to introduce the riverboat gaming model, back in the early 1990s, and today has 24 casinos that generate around $1.3 billion in tax revenues.
The Surrounding States a Reason To Be Worried
Although Louisiana was one of the first players in the market, the current situation is not so good. The bordering states of Mississippi and Oklahoma are more competitive, especially the latter, which is home to the second largest tribal gaming market in the United States, with more than 120 casinos on its territory. And if plans of tribal leaders and some state legislators go through and Texas legalizes gaming, the industry in Louisiana could face challenging times.
American Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Geoff Freeman said the state’s legislation needed modernization. Freeman stated that every reform was difficult, but he emphasized the fact that the current regulations wouldn’t get gaming where it needed to go in the next 25 years.
Keith Smit of Boyd Gaming agrees that a change is needed. He explained the surrounding states offered a more favorable tax environment which could take customers away from Louisiana and create problems for casinos.