BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Belle Casino near downtown on the Mississippi River is one of the many casinos in Louisiana required to be on the water, but a Senate bill aiming to change that is moving closer to reality.
On Wednesday, a House committee advanced the bill that would allow casinos to move on land as long as they are within 1,200 feet of their current dock. Opponents argue the move expands the industry's footprint, but its supporters says the state's current rules are antiquated.
"I don't see this as an expansion of gaming. I see it more as a modernization of kind of where we need to go and one example is when we were on the tour with Representative Stefanski and Representative Marcelle, we're able to see the paddle wheel at the Golden Nugget. I was shocked that there was actually a paddle wheel that we had to start, had a five horsepower engine, and it actually had to paddle," said Rep. Stephen Dwight-R, Lake Charles.
The bill has already passed through the Senate and now just needs approval from the full House and the governor to become law.