In a first of its kind, Louisiana has approved the request to move the riverboat casino in the Lake Charles-area to land.
The state’s Gaming Control Board has allowed moving the casino to a land-based venue after the state’s legislature gave a nod to the proposal which called for shifting floating casinos in New Orleans to land. However, the first approval has been granted after 18 months of clearing the legislative hurdle.
According to the reports, the new land-based casino would be about three times the size of the riverboat casino. It will also host 120 additional slot machines and seven table games. On top of additional gaming equipment, the casino will feature a VIP lounge and lake-facing restaurants.
Eldorado resorts which own and operates the riverboat casino is the first to have granted the approval. There are 14 other floating casinos in the state and it has been reported that they are all planning to shift on land at some point in time.
Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Lake Charles who has been at the forefront of the campaign to get the casinos out of the rivers has said that the decision to allow the casino to shift on land is a game-changer.
According to the legislation which opened doors for casinos in the state, Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans has been the only one allowed to operate on land. The other casinos were allowed to operate only from a boat and that too when it was sailing.
Additional Revenue By Allowing Casinos To Shift
The state is eyeing at additional tax revenue by allowing casinos to shift – at least that was the main idea sold by the proponents of the legislation that paved the way for the state’s riverboat casinos to move to land.
Louisiana grossed $715 million in the last fiscal from gambling taxes. However, amongst speculations that the revenue from the state’s riverboat casinos could take a hit, lawmakers have now decided to experiment with allowing casinos to shift to land-based venues.
It remains to be seen how effective the move will prove in terms of revenue generation. According to the current legislation, the “economic development” is a crucial aspect of moving the casinos from rivers to land-based venues.