The Senate passed a bill 22-14 that would allow riverboat casinos expand their operations on land. Louisiana is the only state that requires floating gambling halls to keep all gaming operations over water. Franklin Senator Bret Allain says the proposal is an expansion of gaming.
But Metairie Senator Danny Martiny says the bill allows the riverboats to invest more into their properties, which will bring more tax dollars to the state.
"We've got an industry that's providing us with income, thank God," Martiny said. "Everybody that's against it, sure doesn't shy away from coming to Appropriations and asking for some of that money," said Martiny.
Opponents argue that an expansion of gaming would lead to more gambling addiction, but the Metairie Republican says gamblers will find a way to get their fix whether we legislate against it or not.
"Go back in your office, get online and you can gamble all you want and you know how much Louisiana gets out of it, NOTHING," said Martiny.
The measure now heads to the House for more debate.
Another gaming bill which would have called for a referendum in Tangipahoa Parish to see if they would want a riverboat casino to move from Bossier City to a location near Hammond, failed on an 18--15 vote.