Council takes stand against gambling

November 07, 2007 at 11:54 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

At one time, St. Charles Parish was a hot spot for illegal gambling in the State of Louisiana. Many of the restaurants and bars along major thoroughfares had slot machines which were very popular among locals and visitors though in violation of the law.

What’s more, they were out in the open. No private rooms to reduce their exposure to the public.

Then along came Supt. Francis Grevenberg under the administration of Gov. Jimmie Davis who led the state police on raids to close down the one-armed bandits and other forms of gambling. Of course, that was not just in St. Charles but throughout the state which tolerated many other illegal operations during the Long years.

Now, gambling is allowed legally under the nomenclature of “gaming” to a certain extent, like on riverboats that don’t sail, truck stops, video bingo parlors, behind closed doors at restaurants and bars and at the big casino on Canal Street in New Orleans. When the statewide election was held to legalize such “gaming” the people of St. Charles voted for it which allowed it to come into the parish.

Gambling does not produce a healthy economy and can be a danger to the livelihoods of many people. If it is legal, it should be well controlled in a way that will keep it in the background.

When riverboats tried to come into St. Charles, the parish administration fought them and kept them out. Now the parish council has put impediments in the way of a new form of gambling - - video bingo for charitable causes, which will be challenged.

Keeping the number of places to gamble at a minimum should be the ultimate aim of our parish government, regardless of the type of establishment.

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