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Developers release details for proposed Tangipahoa Parish casino, need lawmakers help

8 months 1 week 1 day ago Thursday, April 05 2018 Apr 5, 2018 April 05, 2018 7:20 PM April 05, 2018 in News
Source: WBRZ

HAMMOND - A California company is looking to move gaming from Bossier to Tangipahoa Parish. The new development could bring $22 million into the parish. But there’s some hurdles developers have to overcome.

Peninsula Pacific needs Louisiana lawmakers to pass a bill that would allow them to build in Tangipahoa Parish. Then the public will need to vote for it in a November election. If it all comes together, developers say this could be huge for south Louisiana.

The company says the project would be a $100 million investment, and would include a hotel, casino, restaurants and event center. It would be located in between Highway 445 and the Tangipahoa River in the rural part of the parish.

“We want to bring it to a place where we can recapture some of the migration that is going to Mississippi,” said Chief Executive Officer Brent Stevens.

Peninsula Pacific already owns a gaming license in Bossier with the casino Diamondjacks. But, it's not proving to be profitable.

“The Shreveport, Bossier market was a 1$ billion gaming market ten years ago, today it's a $600 million market,” said Stevens.

The move requires the passing of legislation. A bill would allow Peninsula Pacific to relocate their license, and bring the decision to a vote. It's coming with some pushback.

"It's no great surprise,” said Stevens. “There's about $260 million of gaming revenue leaving Louisiana from Louisiana residents going to Mississippi. You would expect Mississippi operators to be lobbying against that."

People who live in the area are also worried about increases in traffic and a lack of emergency services.

“We want you to come out and vote,” said Stevens. “We want to hear about this. we only want to be here if you want us to be here as a community."

Peninsula Pacific plans to meet with the fire department, educators and the HOA in Hammond Friday to discuss these concerns. They're expecting the legislation to go to the Senate floor in the next two weeks.

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