BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana House agreed Thursday to a 30-year contract extension for Harrah’s to operate the land-based casino in New Orleans.

Lawmakers voted 78-12 for the measure keeping Harrah’s in place at the casino until 2054. The sponsor is Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras.

In exchange for the 30-year contract extension, Harrah’s would agree to spend $350 million upgrading its facilities, adding new restaurants, building a second hotel and enlarging its entertainment space.

Harrah’s $60 million annual payment to the state would remain in place. The state also would receive an additional $3.6 million yearly, adjusted for inflation and dedicated to early childhood education.

Additional payments to the state also are possible, depending on the gambling revenue earned by the casino. Those payments would be split, with 70 percent sent to local governments for water system improvements and 30 percent sent to New Orleans for infrastructure projects.

Gov. John Bel Edwards backs the bill, which heads to the Senate for debate.


House Bill 553: www.legis.la.gov