Lawsuit may block proposed Louisiana casino

.Opponents seek to block a referendum on the casino.
.Opponents seek to block a referendum on the casino.

A lawsuit has been filed at the state District Court in a bid to prevent a new casino in St. Tammany Parish.

US.- The possibility of a new casino in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, is due to be decided at a referendum on November 13, but opponents have launched a legal bid to try to stop that from going ahead.

Plaintiffs have filed a bid to block the referendum at the state District Court, arguing alleged violations of the state constitution and a breach of parish zoning rules that ban riverboats within a mile of a public playground. The suit is expected to be heard on October 7 – 8, just over a month before the referendum.

The legal push follows other attempts to prevent the new casino. Slidell’s mayor Greg Cromer and Mandeville’s mayor Clay Madden have issued statements against the proposal.

The casino proposal

Casino operator Peninsula Pacific has closed its DiamondJacks casino in Bossier Parish following poor performance and wants to move its licence to a new site, but it needs the St. Tammany parish to reverse an anti-casino vote from 1996.

State senator Patrick McMath has said: “There’s no doubt this will be a positive economic impact for the state of Louisiana.”

HB702 has already been passed by both the House and the Senate. It will be up for voters to decide on the issue, but there seems to be a growing anti-casino campaign.

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