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Controversial Northshore casino to be called Camellia Bay

The proposed casino's name was submitted to Peninsula Pacific Entertainment among 7,000 others.

SLIDELL, La. — The controversial $325 million casino proposed in late June now has a name: Camellia Bay Resort and Casino.

The name comes from Slidell's official nickname: The Camellia City. The Camellia is also the flower featured at the center of the official Slidell seal or logo. 

The proposed casino's name was submitted to Peninsula Pacific Entertainment among 7,000 others.

The proposal for the casino was received differently in St. Tammany Parish. Residents who live closer to the area where the proposed casino were generally against it, while those who lived further away were generally for it.

St. Tammany Parish voters will make the call on Nov. 13.

"That's typically what's known as the 'not in my backyard' syndrome," said Ed Chervenak, PhD, political science professor at UNO. "Slidell representatives probably hearing from their constituents, they're not interested in having this casino whereas residents elsewhere would like to see that revenue generated and are not concerned about the quality of life because the casino is not in their neighborhood."

Parish voters will be asked if they want to undo the 1996 vote to ban casino gambling.

"Voters of St. Tammany should have this opportunity," St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper said.

The casino would open in Jake Airey's district, District 13. He voted against moving forward to a parish-wide vote, but now hopes voters will put their energy into learning more about the project before the biggest vote yet is in their hands.

"Get educated on the fact that gambling is a huge part of St. Tammany already. Frankly, I didn't realize the hundreds of millions of dollars that leave the parish and go to Mississippi," Airey said "Look at that. Look at social ills gambling causes and whether that’s already here." . 

Airey believes ultimately, the proposal will pass.

"I think it will," Airey said. "I think it'll be 60 - 40, something like that."

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