Harrah's contract bill stays alive in Louisiana Legislature - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Harrah's contract bill stays alive in Louisiana Legislature

By MELINDA DESLATTE
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A proposal to extend Harrah's contract to operate the New Orleans land-based casino for up to 30 more years has narrowly scraped through a Senate committee.

Approval came despite concerns about giving the company a no-bid deal years ahead of the contract's expiration.

The Senate judiciary committee voted 4-3 Monday to send the bill to the full Senate.

Passage came only after senators heavily rewrote the proposal to give Louisiana far more money.

The changes would require Harrah's to pay $40 million upfront for the renewal, 75 percent to the state and 25 percent to New Orleans. Additionally, the company's $60 million annual payment to the state would be boosted to $100 million.

If the contract is extended, Harrah's intends to upgrade its facilities.

House Bill 553: www.legis.la.gov

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