International edition
September 25, 2020

The telephone poll is being conducted for the Northshore Business Council by GCR

Casino survey aims to test waters in Mississippi

(US).- Pollsters will try to gauge reaction and opinion to a proposal by Parish President Kevin Davis to create an entertainment district anchored by a casino barge on Lake Pontchartrain south of Slidell.

D

o you ever go to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to visit a casino? What do you think of the way Mississippi uses tax dollars generated by the casinos? Would you approve or disapprove a casino in St. Tammany Parish? Those are some questions being asked by pollsters.

The telephone poll is being conducted for the Northshore Business Council by GCR and Associates, a local consulting firm, council executive director Pat Brister said.

Brister said last week that Davis recently met with the council and outlined his proposal to establish the entertainment mecca near Lakeshore Estates with a hotel, restaurants, shops, the casino and a venue for national and international performers. For the proposal to get to first base, the state Legislature would have to call a referendum on casino gambling in the parish and voters would have to approve it.

She said the council - a coalition of 50 CEOs of businesses in St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes - decided to do some research on the issue before taking a position. The poll to gauge local opinion on casino gambling is part of the research, she said.

Council Chairman Shelby LaSalle also established a task force that recently visited the L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles, which includes a hotel, restaurants, shopping and entertainment similar to what Davis is proposing, Brister said.

While there, the task force met with local government and law enforcement officials in Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish, Brister said, and later plans to talk with residents living near the resort. The council also is participating in a University of New Orleans study to determine the local impact of a casino-entertainment complex in St. Tammany, Brister said.

The council’s tentative plans are to release its findings in a position paper. "I think all of it will take at least 60 days," she said. "I would think we would put our findings in a report, whether or not we take a position on the issue," Brister concluded.

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