Senate Judiciary B passed a bill to give Tangipahoa residents an opportunity to vote on allowing a casino along the Tangipahoa River near the I12 Robert exit. If adopted, the Diamond Jack Casino in Bossier could be relocated, maintaining the state’s current number of riverboat casino licenses at 15.
Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller, who is in favor of the project, called on the committee to leave the call up to the people of his parish.
“Everyone’s attitude, and plea, would be to let the citizens decide.
Tangi Council member Lewis Joseph says if approved, the casino would help the parish fund its education system.
“They haven’t received a pay raise in ten years, and hopefully if we can get this resort in Tangipahoa parish, hopefully we can give our teachers a little more money to spend.”
Tangipahoa voters recently shot down a millage increase that would have raised teacher salaries, which currently sit below the state average.
The measure escaped deferment two to one, with Houma Republican “Norby” Chabert the lone dissenter. Charbert questioned the decision to move the casino to Robert, saying the area may not be the best location to support the venture.
“Why Tangipahoa? Why not Lafourche? The Terrebone and LaFourche market is the fifth largest market in the state.”
Chairmen of Peninsula Pacific Brent Stevens, the company that owns Diamond Jack, responded to Charbet’s critique. He says after a thorough analysis, his company realized that the region was ripe for a new facility.
“There’s about 260 million dollars of gaming revenue from Louisiana that goes into the Mississippi and gulf coast. The vast preponderance of that goes right through Tangipahoa Parish.”
The proposal heads to the Senate floor.