A Senate Committee will review a House approved bill Monday that would renew the state’s contract with New Orleans Harrah’s Casino for another 30 years. The bill has received opposition from statewide leaders like U.S. Senator John Kennedy, who say Louisiana should hold out for a better deal, and legislators are concerned about a provision that calls for less legislative scrutiny over future contract renewals.
Political Analyst Clancy DuBos says there’s also another concern.
"A lot of people feel that with six years left on the Harrah's license, why does it need to be pushed through right now," said Dubos.
Harrah’s officials say in exchange for a new 30-year contract, they will spend 350-million dollars on a new 340-room hotel, plus restaurants and a nightclub that would result in 500 full-time jobs. DuBos says that’s not the only bonuses.
"There's an annual payment of 3.6 million dollars that's supposed to go to the city of New Orleans, but around half the time it doesn't get paid, because it's up to the governor and the legislature to pay it, under this bill that payment would be guaranteed."
DuBos says he doesn’t see the bill passing in its current form, unless Harrah’s puts up more on its end.
"There's been a talk of them putting up another 21-million dollars, it wasn't really an additional 21-million, it was more front loading the deal that is already supposed."
The hearing in front of Senate Judiciary B is set to begin Monday at 1 PM.