Date posted: May 3, 2021, 03:15 am
Last Updated: May 3, 2021 03:55 hrs.
Inhabitants of the parish of St. Tammany may face questions in November's referendum on a potential 250 million Slidell, La casinos. A new poll has shown that the vast majority of residents hope to vote at the gaming center.
Cygnal, a DC-based polls and analysts firm, recently polled 300 likely voters in St. Tammany to evaluate their position on the proposed casino resort at Lakeshore Marina in Slidell.
Of those questioned, the vast majority - 93 percent - said they support letting area residents decide whether the parish's long-standing ban on commercial gambling should be lifted. In Slidell, 89 percent said they support the Louisiana legislature and the government. John bel Edwards (D) passing a bill to submit a case to voters at next elections.
As for the casino itself, 67 percent of the 300 respondents said they support the casino's admission to the parish. At Slidell 66.5 percent of the population supported the game proposal.
It amplifies what we heard from the very beginning. The public clearly wants to have the right to vote no matter what they think about the resort or the gaming aspect, ”explained Chris Masingill, CEO of St. Tammany Corporation, the parish economic development agency.
Peninsula Pacific Entertainment - a stylized P2E - wants to transfer its gaming license from Bossier City to Slidell. The casino operator chose not to reopen its DiamondJacks casino when it was allowed to do so last year due to a pandemic.
P2E is looking for a more attractive market in Louisiana and hopes to enter the untapped St. . Tammany Parish.
Probe ordered by P2E
Although Peninsula Pacific Entertainment paid for the Cygnal poll, its results - showing an overwhelming percentage of parish voters willing to decide the casino - are likely to alleviate some concerns about whether the poll had any bias.
"Treat the poll results critically and consciously, taking into account the potential bias you are looking for in any journal, and remember that while customers may be tempting, good interviewers would rather be right than liked," explained Rob Vance, co-manager of PSB Insights, a consulting firm dealing with research and analysis.
But the opponents remain
In Louisiana, counties are called parishes. And religious leaders and denominational congregations are leading the front to persuade parishioners to decline gambling.
Their voices were heard, and pastors and church members expressed their concerns in public meetings with Slidell City Council. The council then voted against the casino vote initiative last month.
However, voting in the Council is ceremonial and does not legally affect the referendum process. Likewise, the voice of the St. Tammany supporting the casino vote also has no effect on the state's legislature and the governor's ability to advance the referendum.