Louisiana Supreme Court to Address Whether Permanently Moored Casinos Are “Vessels” Under Maritime Law

The Louisiana Supreme Court will soon consider whether the Grand Palais casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana, qualifies as a “vessel” under the Jones Act and general maritime law. Indeed, the Court recently granted certiorari and agreed to review the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in Caldwell v. St Charles Gaming, 18-868 (La. App. 4 Cir. 07/03/19), 2019 La. App. LEXIS 1208. In an en banc decision, the Third Circuit held that the Grand Palais casino is a “vessel,” meaning that many of its employees qualify as Jones Act seamen and would be entitled to maintenance and cure benefits in the event of a work-related injury. Additionally, unlike traditional workers’ compensation laws, the Jones Act allows covered employees to pursue negligence claims against their employers, which makes the “vessel” classification even more significant. Continue Reading

2019 Mississippi Milestones

We took a deeper dive into Mississippi’s milestones throughout 2019 and have listed those highlights below.

New Biloxi casino
In June, the Mississippi Gaming Commission gave site approval to what will be Biloxi’s ninth casino — Biloxi House — on the site of the former Margaritaville Casino on the Back Bay. The building, off 5th Street in East Biloxi, has sat empty since Margaritaville Casino closed in 2014. The anticipated development will include a casino with 40,000 square feet of gaming space, 1,100 slot machines, and 22 table games, as well as a 300-room hotel on South Beach Boulevard.

Sports betting handle
In the first 12 months sports betting has been available in the state, Mississippi has generated more than $3.6 million in tax revenue with a 10.11 hold percentage. Properties in the Gulf Coast and Tunica regions have turned $302 million in handle into $30,498,985 in gaming revenue.

Gross gaming revenue
As of this writing, through October 2019, gross gaming revenue is up 3.7%, or $78 million, over the same trailing 12-month period. Excluding the increase directly attributable to sports betting, that is a 2.25% increase over the trailing 12 months. Continue Reading