The Louisiana Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday narrowly passed a bill that would allow a locally licensed company to transfer its existing Bossier City casino license to St. Tammany Parish where it wants to develop a new casino.
The measure needs approval from state lawmakers and the Louisiana Gaming Control Board as well as from parish voters.
Pacific Peninsula Entertainment, or P2E as the company is known, has unveiled plans to relocate its casino license and develop a new gambling facility in Slidell, a city on the northeast shore of Lake Pontchartrain in St. Tammany Parish.
The operator purchased DiamondJacks Casino in Bossier City six years ago. It announced in May 2020 that the venue would close permanently “in light of the sudden, unforeseeable market conditions that have resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic.” The riverboat facility was the worst performing casino in the Shreveport/Bossier City market.
P2E has now focused its efforts on pitching its $250 million Slidell casino project. According to Sen. Sharon Hewitt, who authored the bill that would allow the company to move forward with the plan, the new gambling facility could support 1,900 permanent jobs and boost taxes from gaming revenue by more than $60 million.
Sen. Hewitt told local news outlets that the piece of legislation is “about giving our local community the opportunity to vote.” Seven fellow lawmakers have co-authored the bill.
Lazy River and Water Attractions among Proposed Amenities
While the Shreveport/Bossier City market has long been deemed oversaturated, the bill’s authors believe that relocating P2E’s vacant casino license to southeast Louisiana would help the state capture some of the gamblers who now travel to Mississippi Gulf Coast casinos.
P2E bought the portion of Slidell land where it wants to place its casino this past February for just under $14 million. As mentioned above, the company plans to invest at least $250 million into developing the venue. In fact, company officials said earlier this week that they would increase their investment, although it is still unknown by how much.
While P2E still has no concrete plans for what its property would offer, the company has told Slidell residents that it would feature different amenities and attractions, in addition to its casino floor.
The developer has pitched different features for the waterfront where its casino would be located, including family-oriented amenities like a lazy river and water slide as well as a resort pool that would be geared toward adult guests of the property.
The P2E’s current site plan also calls for a 1,500-seat indoor entertainment area as well as an outdoor amphitheater with space for 6,000 people, among other facilities.
Source: Louisiana Senate committee approves potential new casino in St. Tammany Parish, The Livingston Parish News, April 20, 2021