Sunday, May 20, 2018

Louisiana: Still Mississippi's best friend (On Gambling)

The Louisiana Legislature is the gift that keeps on giving to Mississippi.  New Orleans is probably the best city for casinos in America.  That is "casino" with an "s" - the plural form of the word.  However, Edwin Edwards and his cronies couldn't help themselves but sold, yes sold, a casino monopoly in New Orleans to Harrah's. The monopoly doesn't expire for six more years but that is just a mere technicality.  The Morning Advocate reported Tuesday:

A Louisiana Senate committee Monday narrowly approved a no-bid, 30-year extension in Harrah's New Orleans' operating license but only after requiring the casino company to pay hundreds of millions of dollars more to the city and state.

The Judiciary B Committee approved House Bill 553 on a 4-3 vote after adopting amendments that would cost Harrah's a $40 million one-time payment to renew the license and an additional $40 million in annual tax payments that would raise the minimum from $60 million per year to $100 million.

Over 30 years, that $40 million increase in present day value would amount to an additional $1.2 billion in tax payments to the state. Another amendment would guarantee New Orleans $6 million per year in ''casino support services,'' up from the $3.6 million originally included in HB553, or $72 million over 30 years.

''I think it represents a better deal,'' state Sen. Gary Smith Jr., the committee chairman, who offered the amendments, said in an interview immediately afterward. Representatives of Caesars Entertainment, Harrah's parent company, had no prior word of his amendments, he said.

A Caesars spokesman afterward lauded the decision to keep HB553 alive but said company executives were still reviewing the amendments to determine whether they were acceptable.

Joseph Jaeger Jr., a New Orleans hotel owner and developer who testified against the measure, called the amendments ''a good start'' to improving a deal that he believes would shortchange the public.

HB553 now goes to the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee on Tuesday. It must pass the committee to advance to the full Senate and then return to the House for approval, during the waning days of the regular legislative session, before the governor would decide whether to sign the measure into law.

If the bill ultimately passes the Legislature, Harrah's is promising to invest $350 million to build a 24-story hotel, add an upscale food court and flashy nightclub and create a one-block entertainment district on Fulton Street between its existing hotel and parking garage. A Smith amendment would require Caesars to spend the money within six years, with the Louisiana Gaming Control Board certifying it did so.

Harrah's could not reduce the $350 million investment or reduce promised tax payments to offset the $40 million onetime payment, Smith said.

However, the effort did fail at the end of the week.  The Times-Picayune reported Friday:

Before it adjourned for the regular session, the Louisiana Legislature could not reach a compromise Friday (May 18) on an extension of Harrah's New Orleans casino gambling license. The bill died in a conference committee, dealing a major blow to plans for a new $350 million hotel.

Supporters of the deal had cited the extension as part of a unique economic development opportunity. Critics questioned whether negotiating a deal with six years left on Harrah's current permit and without putting the license up for a bid was the best deal for the city and state.

Those disagreements plunged House Bill 553, authored by House Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, into intensive negotiations Friday as he and Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, tried to resolve significant differences in payments Harrah would agree to make as part of the deal. But those negotiations apparently failed.

"We are disappointed that HB 553 could not proceed," said Dan Real, regional manager for parent company Caesar's Entertainment Corp. "This means that the city of New Orleans and State of Louisiana lose 600 construction jobs, 900 permanent jobs and $28 million in incremental tax revenues and payments through 2024, when Harrah's license lapses."....

But ultimately, Senate President John Alario said that negotiations fell apart after state officials began honing in on the payments Harrah's would be required to pay under the bill, and whether those payments were enough.

"It got to be really complicated when we were trying to figure out what's in the state's best interest -- what the state should be getting in compensation for giving a monopoly to one entity," Alario said. "We thought we were coming close to a compromise at the end, but then when our staff got into it, we found a great complication in drafting the proposal to get it done."

Negotiations bogged down over the upfront and annual payments sought from Caesar's, according to the Senate president..... Rest of article.
Not one single person wants to let the casino monopoly expire and open up New Orleans to the rest of the casino industry.    The Mississippi Gulf Coast should say thank you because if there is a city in America that is a natural fit for casinos, it is the Crescent City.  Louisiana would probably get more money in tax revenue if it had multiple casinos.  These clowns probably don't realize that they are screwing themselves instead of Caesar's. 

Don't worry, the Louisiana Legislature will extend the monopoly.  I know my peoples.  They can't help themselves.  If there is a corrupt and short-sighted way to do something, that is the path Louisiana will take and that applies to casino monopolies in New Orleans.  Never change, Louisiana, never change.


Anonymous said...

For generations Louisiana could make their corrupt deals and protect the interest of entrenched mobsters without concern for tourism competition to their east. After all, Mississippi wanted to keep outside money out. Anything to protect Mississippi's status quo and segregation. Well, now that segregation is out, Mississippi has a chance to use Louisiana's corruption against them. The question is, do we have the leadership to make bold long-term moves and invest rather than cut, cut, cut. What are the odds?

Anonymous said...

12:56 don’t be so full of yourself by stirring the racial pot. The MS Gulf Coast is thriving because segregation is out? Dafaq? A post about Louisiana losing tourism to Mississippi and you want to make a comment about race relations? Which liberal think pot do you work for?

Anonymous said...

I don't know about this. For years Louisiana has been proud to have the most corrupt legislators in the country, while Mississippi has bragged about having the dumbest. Periodically, however, it looks like they might trade places. We'll see.........

Anonymous said...

You really think they worry about Mississippi in Louisiana, Louisiana's economy is 2times bigger than Mississippi. The average annual per person captia income is $4,000 more. Trust me what's going on in Mississippi never enters the picture. Unless it's joke about never having to worry about being on the bottom.

Anonymous said...

In the context of gambling, per capita income by state is about as relevant as shoe-size by congressional district. What other figures do you have for us?

Anonymous said...

@ 12:56,

Wow, you trolls are working on Sunday ?

Casino's and segregation. That's a conversation that mixes like water and oil, or liberals and conservatives, or chicken s__t and chicken salad.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi has always looked up to Louisiana and always will. Sports, money or culture. Doesn’t matter. And that’s quite an insult to Mississippi. And I’m sure the great great descendants of the plantation owners will have a field day mocking this comment. But that’s .001% of Mississippi. Long live Donald Trump, Phil Bryant and Ross Barnett.

Anonymous said...

1:35 Like you, I don't want to stir the racial pot either, but you must admit that Mississippi has a certain reputation, well earned from back in the days when the ONLY thing Mississippi was nationally known for was ... But now the state can put that racial stuff all behind and go after Louisiana tourist dollars. You really think Mississippi could compete if it didn't? Really?

Anonymous said...

Mississippi has always looked up to Louisiana and always will. Sports, money or culture. Doesn’t matter. And that’s quite an insult to Mississippi.

Mississippi is an insult!

50th is not cool.

Anonymous said...

As a native of New Orleans, when in college I decided that I would not ever work in Louisiana due to all the graft and corruption. So, I've been employed in Mississippi for the last 30 years and while LA may be #1 in corruption, I have come to realize that Mississippi is #2.

But I was wrong, Forbes deemed Mississippi the most corrupt state:

Anonymous said...

They think Mississippians go across the border to gamble, just wait Louisiana is about to get Legal Medical Weed.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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