Louisiana: Slidell casino vote challenged

The court will decided whether to allow the December 11 vote.
The court will decided whether to allow the December 11 vote.

Voters will decide next month on whether to allow a casino resort in St Tammany Parish but a lawsuit seeks to challenge the vote.

US.- On December 11, voters in Louisiana’s St Tammany Parish are due to decide whether to approve the proposed $325m casino complex Camellia Bay Resort, but a lawsuit seeks to stop that. The legal contest challenges the validity of asking parish voters to legalise commercial gambling at a single site.

On November 30, the judge will hear several motions including motions for summary judgement, which would result in a decision that very day. If that request’s denied, the court will decide on December 3 whether or not the casino proposal will remain on the ballot for the December 11 election.

Attorneys with knowledge of the case say the casino will remain on the ballot for early voting, which starts on November 27.

Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) seeks to build $329m Camellia Bay on the Lakeshore Marina on the eastern edge of Lake Pontchartrain. Although the Louisiana Gaming Control Board approved the relocation of P2E’s Diamond Jacks casino from Bossier City to a proposed site in Slidell, in St. Tammany Parish, voters will have the last word in December, if the court allows it.

Casino officials said in a statement, “We are excited to get our day in court. St. Tammany Parish deserves the right to vote yes for this economic development opportunity on December 11. We will be leading the charge in court to protect their right. Sadly, those opposed to this project will say anything to keep their neighbors from getting the opportunity to vote yes on Camellia Bay.”

St. Tammany Parish officials said: “It is the Parish’s position that the casino proposition should be determined by the voters, and that Louisiana law supports this position. We are asking the Louisiana Supreme Court to review the First Circuit’s decision prior to the election, and are requesting the trial court wait until the Louisiana Supreme Court renders a decision before conducting a trial on the matter.”

See also: St Tammany Casino would have “moderately positive” regional impact

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