Louisiana Pastors Praying Slidell Casino Resort Near New Orleans is Excommunicated

Posted on: March 29, 2021, 09:04h. 

Last updated on: March 29, 2021, 10:34h.

Pastors and religious community members in Louisiana near where a $250 million casino resort is being proposed have come out in opposition of the gaming development. 

Louisiana casino resort Slidell New Orleans
Slidell, La., residents review plans for a casino resort earlier this month. A religious organization has come out in opposition of the Louisiana gaming blueprint. (Image: The New Orleans Advocate)

The Louisiana Family Forum, a faith-based nonprofit headquartered in Baton Rouge that lobbies state lawmakers on behalf of pro-conservative and traditional values, says a casino should not be permitted in Slidell. Last week, the organization sent out an email and mailed flyers to local citizens urging them to vote against the resort initiative when they’re asked about the matter in a ballot referendum next November.

Even a bad governor like Andrew Cuomo could see it with his own eyes,” the mailer said of expanded gambling. New York’s four upstate commercial casinos have greatly failed to come anywhere near their pre-market revenue forecasts.

Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) is seeking to relocate its Louisiana casino license from Bossier City to the New Orleans suburb of Slidell in St. Tammany Parish. P2E permanently shuttered its DiamondJacks Casino last year amid the pandemic.

Campaign Snags Early Victory

The Slidell City Council was set to vote on the casino proposal last week. But amid the anti-gambling crusade led by the Louisiana Family Forum, and associated members speaking their mind at the meeting, the council opted to delay moving the project forward. The council says it will consider another vote on the casino during its April 27 meeting.

During last week’s public meeting, gambling critics cited scripture for their belief that the council should reject the casino. If the council votes in favor of the development, it would simply go before voters for approval during the November election. The St. Tammany Parish Council has already voted in favor of the casino ballot resolution. 

“Pontius Pilate was given the opportunity to make a decision or not, and he decided to punt and wash his hands and say let the people decide,” resident Lisa Clayton told the council, as reported by The New Orleans Advocate. “We have an opportunity to speak against something that god does not want in this community.”

Developers Promote Casino Benefits

P2E says it gladly welcomes feedback from area residents. 

“We want the public involved in every step of this project, because a true partnership with our neighbors is paramount to doing this right,” said P2E CEO Brent Stevens. “Our specialty is developing new locations from the ground up, and by working with the community, we can create something special that adds to the quality of life on the Northshore.”

P2E says the casino resort, which would include a 250-room hotel, would create 1,000 permanent new jobs. The gaming firm, based in Los Angeles, has also pledged to pay $30 million for a sports and entertainment complex adjacent to the resort. It will give another $5 million to the city to help build a ring levee that’s long been delayed due to financial holdups. 

“This resort can be a big economic win for the region by creating jobs, providing needed revenue for local and parish government, and by making investments in projects that make the area a better place to call home,” Stevens concluded.