Louisiana may be in more trouble in the years ahead financially after the Legislature passed a record budget this past year. Some of the money that paid for it was increased state income from the gambling business when gamblers in the state lost $3.06 billion during the 2005-06 fiscal year, according to an Associated Press report by Alan Sayre.
The Louisiana gambling industry revived quickly after Hurricane Katrina which destroyed most of the gambling casinos along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Now, however, those operations next door are rebuilding and expanding with state permission to build onshore instead of in the water. They could cut seriously into the gambling business in Louisiana.
And another threat that could hurt the state would the the legalizing of gambling in Texas which backers tried to do two years ago. They failed but they haven’t given up hope and are expected to try again.
Much of the gambling revenue in Louisiana comes from neighbors who cross the border from the Lone Star State. Voters there may well decide it is better to keep money, even if it is from gambling, at home where it can benefit future cowboys and cowgirls.
Many of the expenses in Louisiana’s record budget will be recurring year after year and, if our revenue goes down considerably from gambling, we could have a problem in the future. With so many natural advantages in Louisiana, such as the world’s greatest river, our access to offshore oil and the biggest fish estuary in the country, it is a shame that we even have to worry about getting enough money from gambling. We need to push forward on other sources of state revenue.
Good luck, Rodeo-ers
Many folks from St. Charles Parish will not be home this weekend. They will be at Grand Isle, doing what they always do the last weekend of July.
As you read this, the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo is already in full swing. Undoubtedly many of our brethren are already on the boards.
Grand Isle truly has returned to normalcy after Katrina. In fact, it is better with many of the old eyesores washed away and new ones in place. The beach is bigger and cleaner than ever. And the fish are just as tasty.
Whenever you’re ready for an afternoon on a golden beach and a crab boil or fish fry as the sun begins to dip behind Caminada Bay, head for the island, Louisiana’s most beautiful and relaxing playground. It’s a trip you are sure to enjoy.