Many of Louisiana’s top casinos are located in Lake Charles, an area badly hit by Hurricane Laura. That includes the Golden Nugget Lake Charles, one of the most popular gambling venues in the state. New videos have emerged that show the Golden Nugget had its roof blown off by the powerful wind generated by this hurricane.
The casino industry in Louisiana had already been suffering due to a lack of players and increased regulations. This hurricane certainly isn’t helping. Now is the perfect time to look at how this storm will affect the casinos here moving forward.
Let’s get into it!
History of Louisiana’s Casino Industry
The state of Louisiana has a rich history of gambling that dates back centuries. In the mid-1700s, a regulated lottery was actually set in place here. By 1890, however, lawmakers here decided to prohibit all forms of gambling.
It was disappointing news for gambling fans here. Many protested the new law and started calling for the legalization of certain forms of wagering. These efforts paid off in 1923 when state leaders officially legalized horse race betting.
The ban on gambling remained in place here for years. Many casino companies attempted to convince lawmakers of the benefits that Class III gaming venues would bring to the state. These efforts failed for decades.
In the early 90s, lawmakers in Louisiana began to see the upside in a regulated, taxed casino industry. They felt it would help to promote tourism while bringing the state some much-needed revenue. Casino gambling and an official state lottery were approved in 1993.
Many new casinos began opening up. In 2014, the Golden Nugget Lake Charles opened its doors and instantly became one of the best casinos in Louisiana. It took inspiration from the major casino-resorts in Las Vegas, offering a massive casino floor and 1,100 hotel rooms for guests.
The Golden Nugget is still widely considered Louisiana’s best casino. Unfortunately, this popular gaming venue took some major damage from the Hurricane now sweeping through the state.
Hurricane Laura Rips Roof Off the Golden Nugget Lake Charles
For days, experts have been warning about the danger of Hurricane Laura. It increased in strength at an almost unprecedented rate in a very short amount of time as it approached Louisiana. Just hours before reaching land, meteorologists called it “unsurvivable” for residents on the coast.
The Hurricane is now moving its way through the state and fortunately, it wasn’t quite as devastating as many initially predicted. It was an incredibly strong wind storm. Major flooding did not end up occurring.
CNN just released a video showing Hurricane Laura ripping the roof off the Golden Nugget Lake Charles. It goes to show how strong the winds were during the height of the storm. The damage to this structure can clearly be seen. Check it out below.
What else is going on with the gambling industry in Louisiana?
Will More Forms of Gambling Become Available in Louisiana?
This is the question many have been asking lately. Back in March, all of Louisiana’s casinos were forced to shut down. Many of them began to reopen in May, yet revenue from this industry is still considerably lower than it was in 2019.
Louisiana is known for having a large, passionate sports fan base. Many have been calling for sports betting to become legal and state-regulated here. Several bills have been presented here over the years. In 2020, one bill made its way past the House and Senate and will now appear on the November voting ballot.
Louisiana’s public will now need to decide whether or not to legalize this popular form of gambling. Most feel it will pass. This should help to bring the state a significant amount of revenue each year.
Some have also discussed the possibility of Louisiana legalizing internet casino gambling. As of now, only a few states have done so. All are profiting massively. There is no update on whether or not lawmakers here plan on looking into this industry.
Hope is that the Golden Nugget Lake Charles, and others in the area, are able to reopen before long. We’ll be sure to offer updates on the sports betting legislation here over the next few months!
Do you think Louisiana should expand its gambling laws? Let us know in the comments section below!