Three years later, it’s déjà vu all over again as the now-closed DiamondJacks Casino currently interred in Bossier City looks to bust a move south, which should open debate on Louisiana’s legal approach to gaming.
Back then, its owner wanted to move the sick man of Louisiana’s floating casinos to the banks of the mighty Amite River in Tangipahoa Parish. In 1996, local option elections in 17 parishes assented to riverboat gambling, although the law already restricted the siting of such vessels to venues with existing boats plus a few others. Although Tangipahoa Parish (barely) assented to riverboat presence, the law hadn’t included the Amite. That initial hurdle the Legislature didn’t cross in 2018, and the uprooting withered.
Now it’s back. With DiamondJacks having closed it doors last year, the owner now wants to head to Slidell. The whole idea previously had been having a boat in that neck of the woods would suck in crowds that presently head to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and its multiple options, even though the journey would be no shorter for many out to the boondocks. Its current manifestation plays to that capture of gamblers and likely would have greater success, locating the boat more centrally to the gambling population in an area with greater infrastructure.