Louisiana House committee OKs video-poker bill

| 4/29/2004

A Louisiana House panel gave unanimous approval last week to a proposal that would restrict construction of new truck stops with video-poker gambling to within 1,000 feet from interstate exits.

The bill passed the House Criminal Justice Committee April 21 by a 9-0 vote. It now heads to the full House.

Rep. Roy “Hoppy” Hopkins, D-Oil City, the bill’s author, told WBRZ TV in Baton Rouge he wanted some relief for neighborhoods near the noisy 24-hour facilities that have sprung up during the past 14 years since video poker was legalized.

HB591 includes a requirement that the state only license new truck stops that want to operate video draw poker machines unless the facility was built or would be constructed within 1,000 feet of a federal interstate highway.

Hopkins’ proposal would delay enforcement until January 1, 2006.

It also grandfathers in the 141 existing truck stops, no matter where they are located.