ollowing the approval from the State Bond Commission on Thursday, Louisiana’s St. Tammany Parish voters will vote on whether to allow a casino in Slidell. The referendum is on the ballot, and the date of the vote will be on December 11, according to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
North shore voters will be asked to vote on whether they agree to allow gambling in the parish. It is important to note that the last time parish voters were asked, they said no emphatically.
If the majority of St. Tammany voters agree, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment LLC will move its Diamond Jacks riverboat casino in Bossier City to Slidell.
The proposed $329 million casino resort would be called Camellia Bay and could open as soon as November 2023. The waterfront casino resort will have pools, a marina, local and celebrity chef restaurants, and a 4-star hotel.
The facility would employ about a thousand people with an average pay of about $45,000 per year. It is estimated that the casino would generate about $33.3 million each year in gaming taxes. Local governments would receive about $9 million annually from taxes on gambling.
On November 5 of 1996, 62% of the 70,507 participating voters were against the local option of allowing riverboat gaming. The number of registered voters in the suburban New Orleans parish has grown about 60% to 185,510 over the past quarter-century.
A number of public officials oppose the casino, including Slidell’s mayor, police chief, and the Slidell City Council, and St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith. The St. Tammany Parish Council split, mostly on geographic lines, on putting the matter on the ballot, with all but one council member from eastern St. Tammany voting against it and all but one on the parish’s western side voting in favor, reports the KPVI.