Casino developers Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) are working on a new project in Louisiana, with as much as $250 million to be potentially spent. The developers must figure out where to put the new casino and resort, with consideration being given to the southeast and northeast portion of the state.
Figuring Out the Process
P2E is based in Los Angeles and has plans to create a casino in the state. The company has been talking to officials in the St. Tammany Parish to see where a venue could be placed. The process of bringing the casino resort to the region has been quite difficult with legal issues coming into play.
The first issue is a referendum from the 1990s. Voters in the St. Tammany parish agreed that casinos and video poker had no place in their community. To create a casino now would mean that this referendum would have to be changed. This would require a ballot initiative and positive vote to move forward.
After that, the project would need approval from the State Gaming Control Board. So even if they can move ahead, it could be years before the project is constructed and open for business.
Right now, P2E has a gaming license in the state via the Diamond Jack riverboat casino. This property is located in Bossier City. Sources have reported that P2E wants to move its license to a more profitable area of the state.
For the new venue, it would be located near Slidell on the waterfront. The casino and resort would offer casino gaming of course, along with a hotel. The property would sit on 50 acres and includes 250 guest rooms within the hotel.
The company is hopeful that the ground-breaking process can begin this December and then the facility can open by 2023. As many as 1,700 jobs would be created with the construction. The operation of the facility would require around 1,900 employees. The casino will provide 5% of its revenues to the parish and this could equal as much as $7.5 million a year.
Right now, the Louisiana casino is only in its discussion phase. Over the next few weeks, changes could be made that would allow the project to move forward. It is unclear if the developer is set on the location or would consider moving the project to an area where a referendum amendment is not needed.
Casino Industry Looks Ahead
The new venue discussion by P2E comes at a time when the casino industry in Louisiana is trying to rebound. Last year, the COVID-19 shutdown and continual restrictions caused the industry to lose revenues and it has been difficult to recover.
In 2020, revenue was down 28% according to the state’s Gaming Control Board. Traffic flow to casinos was cut by almost 50%. The loss of revenue resulted in casinos having to layoff employees. Over 3,500 employees were laid off last year and some have since returned, but not the full workforce.
The industry is hoping that 2021 will be a better year and the economy will see a positive recovery. Many regions of Louisiana rely on casino gaming to keep the local economy in operation and need funds coming in to stay afloat.