Tilman Fertitta advises Louisiana casino regulations be eased

Tilman Fertitta advises Louisiana casino regulations be eased

August 18, 2017 9:06 AM

The Louisiana Riverboat Economic Development and Gaming Task Force heard stern comments this week from Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta who advised members that regulations on casino operators must be eased to allow Louisiana to better compete with nearby states.

In his comments, part of a statewide inquiry seeking insights from casino operators, the billionaire casino and restaurant operator, called for a myriad of improvements to state gaming laws and regulations.

Specifically, he advised Louisiana officials not to limit the number of slot machines on riverboat casinos and at trackside “racinos.” He also questioned why Louisiana lawmakers continue to force non-track casinos to be built on water, calling riverboats outdated.

Barge inspections cost $100,000 annually, he said, explaining that he’s spent $10 million to comply with moored barge laws, which also mandate a paddle wheel (which will never be used) be visible.

Louisiana is home to almost two-dozen riverboat and racetrack casinos, plus one land-based venue, Harrah’s New Orleans.

He also called for the legalization of online casino gambling.

Fertitta said his requests aren’t to solely benefit the Golden Nugget, but “everybody in the gaming industry.”