Louisiana brings riverboat casinos on land

A Louisiana Senate committee voted 22 in favor and 14 against the initiative to move 15 river casinos ashore in an effort to increase the state budget by tax revenues from gambling operators.

Ship casinos contributed $415 million to the Louisiana budget in 2015-16. The casinos will only be able to move within 1,200 feet of their current river locations. The casinos also would have to provide some “economic development” justification to the state Gaming Control Board in order to move to land.

Under Senate Bill 316, the casinos would also have to limit themselves to 2,635 gambling machines instead of restricting themselves to 30,000 square feet of gambling space as in the current law. The Gaming Control Board would – to a certain extent – set up regulations to figure out what counts against this 2,635 machine or seat count.

Gambling has become a major source of revenue for government in Louisiana. The 15 riverboat casinos contributed $414.5 million to the state coffers in the 2015-2016 budget cycle, according to a 2017 annual report from the Gaming Control Board.

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