A couple who was against the establishment of a casino in the area of Slidell has addressed the Louisiana Gaming Control Board by filing a petition seeking to prevent the regulatory body from transferring the riverboat gambling permit to St. Tammany Parish from Bossier City.
It is Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) that currently holds the operating license of Bossier City-based DiamondJacks casino. Unfortunately, the gambling company did not resume the operation of the casino following its shutdown because of the coronavirus outbreak. Now, P2E is willing to transfer its casino operating permit to the Slidell area but such an action requires the Gambling Board’s permission on one hand, and the approval of St. Tammany voters, on the other hand. In order for the casino license transfer to become reality, St. Tammany voters need to reverse a previous decision of theirs to ban casino gambling in the area that dates back to 1996.
Earlier this week, Jason and Chandler Goltz, who live in close proximity to the site that is supposedly set to host the new venue, filed a petition with the Gaming Control Board, as they challenge the possible transfer of the casino operating license, saying such a move is not only premature but also unconstitutional and illegal.
The newly filed petition is just another step in the lawsuit associated with the suggested $325-million gambling venue. Recently, several lawsuits aimed at blocking a referendum from being held on November 13th among St. Tammany Parish voters.
St. Tammany Voters Need to Reverse Previous Decision against Casino Gambling
The petition claims that state legislation requires St. Tammany’s voters to have a referendum on riverboat gambling rather than considering a specific location for the license transfer. As CasinoGamesPro previously reported, in 1996 local voters decided they were against the addition of casino gambling and video poker services in the region. In other words, the petition says that the parish voters are required to reverse their previous vote and vote with a “yes” to riverboat gaming before any further consideration of the riverboat gambling license and its transfer to a specific location within the Parish takes place.
According to the allegations in the petition, none of the legal prerequisites have been met so that the casino license transfer is possible. In addition, the petition raises the question of whether such a move would be in the best interest of the state, considering that such a transfer could breach the fiduciary responsibilities of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. The filing claims that opening a bidding process for the license to be transferred from one operator to another would be a move of greater financial advantage for the state.
In their petition to the state’s gambling regulatory body, Chandler and Jason Goltz claim that Peninsula Pacific Entertainment did not acquire the riverboat gaming license at the time the company acquired the DiamondJacks casino. The couple also says that the gambling operator does not own the casino license, which has been described as a revocable privilege rather than as property or right in the petition.
Under the host city agreement between the Economic Development District of St. Tammany and the gambling company, the Gaming Control Board has to give the nod to such a license transfer in order for the move to proceed further.
For the time being, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment refused to comment on the matter.