The story of casino companies in Louisiana: How they cracked open the door then pushed it open even wider

The story of casino companies in Louisiana: How they cracked open the door then pushed it open even wider

Article brief provided by nola.com
  • Tyler Bridges, nola.com
June 27, 2021 8:06 PM
  • Tyler Bridges, nola.com

    Riverboats cruising up and down the Mississippi, evoking 19th-century paddlewheelers and tales spun by Mark Twain. A small, stand-alone Monte Carlo-style casino in New Orleans, without amenities, to ensure that gamblers frequented local hotels and restaurants. A limited number of video poker machines at bars and restaurants.

    That’s how gambling was sold initially in Louisiana in 1991 to a wary public.

    What the state has gotten is much more, it’s now clear, 30 years after Louisiana took its first major steps to legalize gambling.

    Once they got their foot in the door, gambling companies and their lobbyists in Baton Rouge have gradually convinced state lawmakers to expand their games of chance, lower their taxes and relax their rules.