St. Tammany Parish rejects Slidell casino proposal – Louisiana Illuminator

December 12, 2021 by No Comments

St. Tammany Parish on Saturday voted down a proposal to build a large casino and resort near the lakefront in the city of Slidell after several months of government lobbying and a multimillion-dollar pro-casino political campaign

The casino project was rejected by a 26-point margin, with 63 percent of voters opposing it. The measure was the only item on St. Tammany’s ballot. Voter participation in the election was over 30 percent, far higher than typically seen for a local referendum.

St. Tammany has never allowed casinos or truck stop video poker operations within its borders. The parish voted to prohibit gambling in 1996, when casinos were first starting to open in Louisiana.

But Peninsula Pacific Entertainment worked hard to reverse that ban this year. The gambling company has been trying to move a casino license in Northwest Louisiana to the southeastern portion of the state for years. 

Earlier this year, the gambling company shuttered DiamondJacks in Bossier City, stating that the Shreveport area casino market was oversaturated. It has argued that a new southeastern casino, along the border of Louisiana and Mississippi, would hook into an underserved market. 

The company in 2018 had tried to get the casino license moved to a site in Tangipahoa Parish, north of St. Tammany, but wasn’t able to get the Louisiana Legislature to move forward with the project.


This year, the Slidell proposal looked more promising. Both the St. Tammany Parish Council and Louisiana Legislature voted to put the casino measure to a local vote, clearing the way for Saturday’s referendum. Elected officials at the parish and state level also expressed support for the project.

But as the weeks passed, local city officials, including Slidell’s mayor and chief of police, came out against the project. Opponents worried the casino would create more crime, particularly concerns around human trafficking. Faith-based groups complained that the facility would cause a surge in problem gambling.

There was also some frustration that this gambling proposal was being handled differently than others in Louisiana. Historically, parishes have approved or expanded gambling on a parishwide level. In this case, St. Tammany was asked to vote for a gambling expansion that would have only applied to a specific …….



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