Louisiana closer to allowing gambling riverboats to move onshore

Jan 26, 2018 9:19 AM

Louisiana has moved closer to allowing it’s gambling riverboats to move onshore when the chairman of a gaming task force said it would recommend that the State Legislature allow riverboats to place slot machines on land up to 1,200 feet from the shore.

Ronnie Jones, chairman of the Riverboat Economic Development and Gaming Task Force, announced the recommendation Thursday at a meeting of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, the industry regulator.

Jones, also Gaming Control Board chairman, said its up to lawmakers to take action on his group’s recommendations.

Neighboring Mississippi now allows riverboats to conduct gaming within 800 feet of the coast. By permitting Louisiana’s riverboat to use a 1,200-foot limit, the task force believes its proposal would enable the states 15 riverboat casinos to add more slot machines and gaming tables on land than their rivals in Mississippi.

Louisiana riverboat casinos are allowed to remain dockside and are not mandated to cruise under current state regulations.