Gambling interests are to be seeking the approval of Louisiana legislature to make some changes in the existing gambling regulatory landscape of the state. Proposed pieces of legislation seek riverboat casinos to be allowed to expand the space for their slot machines, and racetracks to offer sports betting services and more slot machines, while casinos at truck stops to see more favourable legislation for video poker operation.
The ongoing legislative attempts represent the most significant effort for the state’s gambling legislation expansion since the beginning of the 1990s, when the modern gambling industry in Louisiana emerged.
Supporters of the new legislative measures promise that the gambling expansion of the state of Louisiana would end up creating more jobs or saving many of the ones endangered of closing. They also say that the addition of more gambling options to the state would bring it larger tax revenue at a time despite the reluctance of local lawmakers to boost income or sales taxes in order to compensate for the budget hole.
Gambling Bills Seek Gambling Industry Expansion
The first two gambling bills which are aimed at changing the current regulatory landscape in the state were backed by truck stop casinos. Last week, both of them were given the green light by the Senate Judiciary B Committee.
Senate Bill 184 seeks to annul the obligation of casinos at truck stops to make fuel sales reports to the State Police. Currently, they are required to average fuel sales amounting to no less than 100,000 gallons on a monthly basis in order to be provided with the opportunity to offer 50 video gambling terminals (VGTs).
Under the wording of the SB 184, casinos at truck stops seek to be allowed to sell less than the currently-required amount of fuel every month and still offer the maximum number of video poker machines.
The other piece of legislation which is backed by the local riverboat casinos, is Senate Bill 316. The state Governor appears to be willing to back the bill, which is set for a hearing at the Judiciary B Committee today. The bill, which sponsor is Sen. Ronnie Johns, seeks to permit Louisiana’s riverboat casinos to offer some of their operations onto land, with a maximum number of 2,365 machines set to replace the existing limits.
The Senate Committee on Judiciary B is set to hear four more bills seeking to set changes in the gambling industry of the state of Louisiana, including SB 318, SB 320, SB 321 and SB 417. The SB 318, which is sponsored by Sen. Daniel Martiny, provides the legal descriptions of a number of terms, including “riverboat”, “designated gaming area” and “gaming position”. Sen. Martiny is the main sponsor of the SB 321 bill, too, which is primarily focused on riverboat licensees and relocation of their gaming operations.
The third proposed piece of gambling legislation, SB 320 sponsored by Sen. Ronnie Johns, is focused on the deduction of fees which are associated with so-called qualified wagers from net gaming proceeds. Last, but not least, there is another proposed piece of legislation related to riverboat gaming, SB 417, which is to be heard by the Judiciary B Committee of the Louisiana Senate. The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Mark White, seeks a Tangipahoa Parish referendum election in regards to riverboat gaming.