Slidell residents concerned by the Camilia Bay Casino in their community and their attorneys appeared in court Tuesday to hear updates on whether or not they would vote for the casino on December ballots. Although time is running out for a decision to be made, the judge set up two additional court dates. These have to be held before a December 11 deadline.
Slidell Casino Fight Continues
This court date will allow the judge to hear motions of summary judgment. This means that the judge will grant or deny a request to decide on the motion on that day. If the judge grants the request, it would be an end to the trial.
If the judge declines the request, a final court hearing is scheduled for December 3. This will decide if the casino plan will remain on the December 11 election ballot. John Raymond, the plaintiff, filed a lawsuit contending that the process of putting the issue up for ballot was not constitutional.
According to lawyers familiar with the case, the casino will not be removed from the early voting ballots. This begins on November 27, according to the attorneys.
Residents opposing a multimillion-dollar casino in Slidell called the move a victory because The Court of Appeals ruled for them regarding one of the lawsuits.
Uncertainty Remains Over Casino’s Future
In October, a judge rejected Raymond’s complaint. However, this week, the Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision. The court ruled that the district judge must hear the case in order to prevent the election.
If Raymond wins, then the referendum will not be placed on the December ballot.
P2E, the company that wants the casino built, told local media outlet WDSU last Thursday that it is confident about its legal footing.
This announcement follows Drew Brees’s endorsement of a new sports complex that will be built if the referendum regarding casino gambling passes.
Officials at the casino said in a statement, “We are excited to get our day in court. St. Tammany Parish deserves the right to vote yes for this economic development opportunity on December 11. We will be leading the charge in court to protect their right. Sadly, those opposed to this project will say anything to keep their neighbors from getting the opportunity to vote yes on Camellia Bay.”
The parish weighed in, as well, asserting, “It is the Parish’s position that the casino proposition should be determined by the voters, and that Louisiana law supports this position. We are asking the Louisiana Supreme Court to review the First Circuit’s decision prior to the election, and are requesting the trial court wait until the Louisiana Supreme Court renders a decision before conducting a trial on the matter.”