Louisiana gambling board rules truck stops must be approved

| 1/18/2006

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board has shot down an effort by truck stop owners to speed up the approval process for installing video poker machines at truck stops.

The Associated Press reported that lobbyists for the truck stops were pushing for a change in rules, claiming that restaurants and bars that use video poker machines don’t require final approval from the board, so truck stops shouldn’t either.

The gambling board disagreed, however, and voted 5-1 to keep the existing rules in place.

Current rules state that the gaming board must approve each new gambling license at its monthly board meetings. Restaurants and bars are not required to take this final step because they have a maximum limit of three video poker machines. Truck stops can have 35 to 50 machines, based on their volume of fuel sales, The AP reported.

According to The AP, anyone applying for a gambling license in Louisiana must undergo standard background checks and investigations from the state police and attorney general’s office.

However, truck stops and larger gambling operations are required to go through one final hurdle: the monthly board meeting where representatives from the state police and the AG outline their findings before the board, which then votes on approval.

Members of the gaming board said that they didn’t see the approval process as much of a delay for the truck stops and that the monthly meeting gives local residents one last chance to air any complaints or concerns about the licensing request.