St Tammany Parish has rejected a proposal to build a casino and resort near the lakefront in the city of Slidell, with 63.1 per cent of voters opposing the casino.
US.- Voters in Louisiana’s St Tammany Parish overwhelmingly voted against the proposal for the $325m Camellia Bay Resort casino complex near Slidell. Some 63.1 per cent of St Tammany Parish residents voted “no” to casino. Only just over 30 per cent of eligible voters participated in the local ballot.
Parish residents were asked if they wished to allow casino operator Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) to relocate its gaming privileges from Bossier City to a designated area along Lake Pontchartrain. The operator shuttered DiamondJacks in Bossier City arguing that the Shreveport area casino market was oversaturated.
The St Tammany Parish Council and Louisiana Legislature voted to put the casino measure relocation to a public vote. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) had approved the relocation.
P2E said in a statement that the company is disappointed in the election outcome, but “grateful for all the relationships that were created and the time that the community invested in Camellia Bay.”
It said: “The vote is a major loss for P2E. The company poured in $5m to its campaign. Peninsula Pacific also donated $1m to Hurricane Ida relief efforts, the powerful Category 4 destructive storm that delayed the planned November 13 balloting until yesterday.”
Some local leaders believe the referendum result is a major financial loss for St Tammany and Slidell. P2E had pledged to build a $35m community athletics complex adjacent to the resort and to contribute to the building of the Slidell ring levee.
Chris Masingill, executive director of St. Tammany Corporation, the parish’s economic development arm, stated: “We know in economic development we can’t win them all.”
Now that voters have rejected the Camellia Bay Resort Casino Marina project, P2E will have 60 days to reopen the casino in Bossier City in the state’s northwestern corner.