Fifteenth gaming license

By Adam Hooper - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The hope of Pinnacle Entertainment bringing more jobs, and more revenue to the area are now gone. Pinnacle has stopped all construction on Sugarcane Bay.

"At first it would have been two thousand jobs, which would have been great. Then, when they scaled it back it was one thousand jobs, which is still great. Now it's zero," said Bob Jones, State Gaming Board Member.

Bob Jones describes Pinnacle's decision to cancel Sugarcane Bay as a disappointment, not only as a member of the gaming board, but also as a citizen of Lake Charles.

Jones said there were some tense moments in last Tuesdays meeting with Pinnacle. He said this is because Pinnacle could be facing the possibility of going from owner of a new project, to would be competitor of a new project, right next door.

"There is concern, in the sense that, we would love for somebody to come in and propose something comparable to Sugarcane Bay, on that same site. But, that's complicated. There's a lot of players involved," said Jones.

Also at last Tuesday's meeting, the gaming board approved a Pinnacle project in Baton Rouge. To guarantee the state sees a return investment on that license, a 25-million dollar deposit was required.

"In retrospect, maybe that's what we should have done with Sugarcane Bay. But, I think going forward, we will require some type of deposit to make sure that whoever is going to be granted the license, will fulfill their commitment," said Jones.

Jones said, now all the gaming board can do is wait for the next proposition to be thrown on the table.

"I hope somebody comes up with a good, viable, quality plan that is good fore the state, and hopefully it will be in this area."

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