During the regular session this year, lawmakers approved a pretty big change for the riverboat casinos across the state. But the change passes by just one vote.

The requirement to have a boat on the water no longer exists. The casino companies will now be allowed to move to property within 1,200 feet from their designated spot. This is a quarter of a mile from where the boats currently operate.

Executive Director of the Louisiana Casino Association Wade Duty tells The Advocate of Baton Rouge: “Not everyone will make the move all at once.”

Duty tells KEEL News it will be at least six months before the first two or three riverboat casinos who might be considering a move could get an application approved by the state Gaming Control Board. Duty also says he does not think a move would be approved if the application did not include several other amenities like restaurants and shopping.

The measure also changes the space limits now on the books. The 30,000 square foot limit is now replaced with a cap on gambling positions. The cap is now at 2,365. But Duty says this is actually fewer gambling positions than we currently have in the state.

What will happen now? Duty says casino managers are putting together plans and will begin to work on financing before going before the Gaming Control Board.