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The plan to move the Diamond Jacks Casino license from Bossier City to south Louisiana is moving forward. There is a proposal to move the local license to the Slidell area.

Citizens of St. Tammany Parish would first have to vote to have the gambling complex built on Lake Ponchatrain in the Slidell area. The State Gaming Control Board would also have to ok moving the license.

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill to let the process move forward for a gambling establishment in southeast Louisiana. The vote to move out of committee was 4-3. The bill is now headed to the Senate floor.

But there was opposition. Louisiana Baptist Convention President David Cranford opposes allowing the vote. He says the people of St. Tammany Parish vote down casino gambling several years ago and there is no need to vote again. He says the casino industry will dump millions of dollars into this effort to bring a casino to Slidell.

Cranford says "casinos are wolves." He says over 7% of Louisiana residents are susceptible to problem gambling and this can lead to the destruction of the family.

But Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt is pushing for the measure to at least let the voters make the decision. She says this is not an expansion of gaming in Louisiana. She says a 2019 Louisiana Economic Development study shows that we can best maximize gaming revenue by moving one of the licenses from the Shreveport Bossier market. The report also noted the Northshore market in St. Tammany Parish is underserved.

She says this will be a gaming resort complex and could bring in more than 30 million dollars a year for the state.

Gaming Control Board Chairman Mike Noel says it is true the Shreveport Bossier market is oversaturated and the competition from Oklahoma is a continuing problem.

The proposed casino would be built by P2E (Peninsula Pacific Entertainment), who has proposed to move Diamond Jacks from Bossier to the waterfront in Slidell. The goal is to get the proposal on the October ballot.

Shreveport Senator Greg Tarver voted against the proposal.

The Diamond Jacks Casino in Bossier City closed in May of 2020.

Peninsula Pacific is proposing to build a $250 million dollar luxury gambling resort  complex on the bank of Lake Ponchatrain. This facility will bring in nearly 2000 new jobs to St. Tammany Parish.

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