Louisiana revisits antiquated casino law – finally

Louisiana lawmakers are finally choosing economic benefits over unfounded beliefs as they agree to revisit the state’s antiquated gambling law amid declining revenue.

Discussions on updating the state’s gambling law seemed like such a taboo that the last time lawmakers debated on it was in 1991 – and the debate reportedly didn’t end well.

It turned out that the esteemed, bible-preaching legislators back then ended the discussion with bitter name-calling, resulting in the shelving of the gambling law division.

More than two decades after that incident, The Advocate reported that someone in congress has finally realized that the state needs to update the laws governing casino gambling.

Republican state Sen. Ronnie Johns has called on his colleagues that now is the right time to revisit the gambling law as the state’s revenue chest begs to be filled once again.

“Our laws are antiquated. They need to be updated if we want to keep up,” Johns said, according to the news report.

Citing 2016 data, Johns pointed out that the state raked in $906 million from riverboat casinos, and the state’s sole land-based gambling house in New Orleans, as well as the lottery, slot and video poker machines.

This could have been higher if the state has an updated gambling law, he said.

Right now, the Riverboat Economic Development and Gaming Task Force is working on updating the law that will ensure Louisiana casinos can stay competitive with Mississippi and with new, native American facilities in Oklahoma.

If the plan pushes through, Louisiana riverboat casinos will move onto land into larger gaming spaces. Legislators would also like to strike out the taxes on the promotional money that casinos send out to lure players into their brick-and-mortar establishments.

Johns, however, quickly clarified that the any new gambling legislation in the state will not pave the way for gambling expansion, saying all that the state needs is to transfer riverboat casinos to dry land with 30,000 square feet of gambling floors.

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