Truckstop Gambling Facing Challenges In Louisiana
April 17, 2000
After about half of Louisiana's parishes outlawed truckstop video gambling last summer, two parishes recently took actions against truckstops related to the controversial machines.
West Baton Rouge Parish voted last week to deny a zoning change for a proposed truck stop near Addis, largely due to local residents' concerns about gambling. And Terrebonne Parish has put a moratorium on new truckstop casino permits.
In the West Baton Rouge Parish, Mike Carville and his father, Alfred Carville Jr., wanted to buy a 6-acre tract near Addis for the proposed Island Truck Stop from property owner Louis Mouch. However, the sale hinges on rezoning the back 600 feet of the property from agricultural to commercial as well as on getting permits for liquor sales and video poker.
Many local residents opposed the rezoning request, citing noise, traffic, drugs and crime. Addis Mayor Carroll Bourgeois said the big issue is gambling. After the vote, he asked the council to impose a moratorium on similar requests, but no one on the council acted on his suggestion.
In Terrebonne Parish, the council has imposed just such a moratorium, refusing new permits for truckstop casinos for at least a year. The council had already passed a 90-day moratorium in January, and last week voted to extend it. Some of the new video casinos under scrutiny house up to 50 video poker machines.
Council Vice Chairman Ray Boudreaux also suggested that permits already issued to truckstop casino developers should not be renewed if no construction has begun on the permitted facilities.