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Slidell casino: As Election Day approaches, both sides push hard

There is a fervent push both by those for a new casino complex and those against one.

SLIDELL, La. — Citizens in St. Tammany Parish will be able to vote on whether they want a casino near Slidell. Opponents challenged the constitutionality of the proposition to try to stop it, but the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled Monday any legal action over the proposed Camellia Bay Resort and Casino would have to come after the election if it passes. Now with early voting underway, campaigning on both sides is heating up. Commercials, flyers, billboards, and signs are impossible to miss across St. Tammany Parish. 

"This is a phenomenal project for St. Tammany Parish. We're bringing added entertainment, a luxury resort," said David Rittvo, V.P. of Development for Camellia Bay Casino and Resort. "Luxury resort casino developments like this bring economic development jobs and tourism."

"I live not very far from where the proposed location would be. I just don’t think it’s a good deal, the company is not a good company," said Eve Riviere with Stand Up St. Tammany, the group campaigning against the casino. "It'll effect the reason we live here, the safeness, the people, the beauty we have on our Lakefront.

Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, known as P2E, wants to build a $325 million casino resort near Slidell. The casino comes with the promise of a $35 million sports complex funded by P2E. Now, Drew Brees is endorsing the project, announcing he would partner with celebrity chef John Folse to create a steakhouse in the casino. 

Opponents appear to be pushing just as hard. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith and Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal have warned a casino may increase crime. Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser is also speaking out against it. 

Early voting is open now through December 4 and  Election Day is December 11. 

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