The Louisiana Casino Association hopes they can help riverboat casinos get more solid footing if a task force recommends they are allowed to move to nearby land. The casinos have been on riverboats since they were approved in 1991. Executive Director Wade Duty says gamblers will not need to worry if their favorite casino is moving.
"For those who are concerned about this is going to result in some kind of wholesale boat movement that's not the case at all. It's simply to get them off the water. The properties and facilities will be located essentially where they are."
Duty says the task force will report back to the legislature before they begin their regular session this spring. He says reforms are needed if Louisiana is to keep up with other nearby states such as Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Most of the Louisiana casinos have remained in their original location and they are at a crossroads whether to renovate or keep their funds for future investments.
"Some of these vessels are now 25 years old and are nearing the point where they have to be replaced. The economic question do you force them to still stay on the water?"
Duty knows there will be some who are concerned about approving legislation to allow the casinos to move to land, but this task force is not looking at adding more casinos to Louisiana.
"For those worried about things like expansion, if you've got 15 riverboats today and you pass this legislation and you wind up with 15 facilities afterward, 15 is still 15."