BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The rejection Saturday of a proposition to allow casino gaming at the site of a proposed $325 million resort casino in Slidell means DiamondJacks will have to resume operations in Bossier City within two months.
DiamondJacks has been shut down since May 2020, when it announced it would not reopen after pandemic restrictions eased. In October, the casino laid off 349 employees and held a liquidation sale, unloading everything from commercial kitchen and laundry equipment to flat-screen TVs and stage lights.
Its license is for one of 15 state riverboat casinos. Los Angeles-based Peninsula Pacific Entertainment planned to use it at the proposed Camellia Bay Resort Casino Marina on the North Shore of Lake Ponchartrain in St. Tammany Parish. A 2018 change in state law allows gambling operations on land instead of restricting them to water, but casino gaming and video poker have been banned in St. Tammany since 1996.
Saturday’s proposition asked voters to legalize gambling specifically at the site of the proposed casino resort. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board’s approval of the relocation of the license hinged on voter approval of that referendum, stipulating that gaming operations would have to resume in Bossier City within 60 days if voters rejected it.
The St. Tammany referendum failed Saturday, with 63 percent voting against it.
The rejection of the referendum effectively shelves the proposed Slidell casino and under the state gaming control board’s order, gaming operations must resume in Bossier City by February 9, 2022.