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Bossier police jury sets date for special casino election

Thursday, July 7, 2011 - 11:30am

The Bossier Police Jury took one more step in approving or rejecting a new Jimmy-Buffett themed riverboat casino in Bossier Parish Wednesday.  The police jury decided on a date for voters to give their input.

It was a unanimous 'yes', Bossier police jurors voted Wednesday afternoon to approve holding a special election to vote on the possibility of a Margaritaville riverboat casino.

Parish Administrator Bill Altimus said this casino could bring more to Bossier than simple more visitors.  The gaming revenue helps fund parish projects.  One example is the rebuilding of the juvenile detention center.  "That is going to be funded by moneys from the riverboats; it's not a tax," ensured Altimus.

And those tourists the new casino would bring could be an economic boost for other casinos.  Altimus realizes some casino management are concerned about the potential of an increase in competition, but he believes other riverboat management realize the benefit of having the opportunity to capture the additional visitors.

The police jury expects the new casino, aimed at a younger crowd, would help boost the gaming industry here.

But ultimately, the parish vote on November 19 will be the deciding factor.  "It will be up to the citizens to decide, but at the end of the day I think it's going to be a good thing for us," said Altimus.

There are still hurdles before building can begin.  The Louisiana Gaming Board must still approve the 'change of berth' of the license after Paradise Casino presents their economic and market impact studies.

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