The Number of Riverboat Casinos Relocating to Land in the Country Is on the Rise

Hollywood Casino Aurora resembles an ordinary gaming site with a large parking lot and entrance. It has many rows of table games and slots. But, the property is among the many riverboat casinos in the United States that are shifting from water to land as more states accept gambling.

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) gave Penn Entertainment’s owner the approval to relocate the gaming venue from Fox River to Stolp Island. Its move will show that gambling is widespread in the country now.

Riverboats’ Evolution Over the Years

Many adult Americans accept sports and casino gambling. Nevertheless, society was largely conservative several decades ago, and people viewed gambling as a morality problem.

Church News published a gambling article in 1998 stating that individuals shouldn’t engage in hard-core betting, raffles, lottery, or any form of gambling. It added that people who don’t wager rarely give in to the temptation to gamble. At that time, various religious groups in Mississippi opposed the state’s decision to legalize riverboat casinos.

The Resorting to Casinos: The Mississippi Gambling Industry passage shows that Christian conservatives were Mississippi’s casinos’ main threat in 1998 and 1999. They voted to prohibit all noncharitable types of betting in the state for two years.

Even so, Louisiana’s casino supporters became more creative as riverboat casinos solved the morality concern. They would easily move on rivers hence keeping betting out of mind and sight.

James Gill from stated in a 2019 article that the riverboat casino’s concept intended to prevent gambling from adversely affecting the youth by keeping it away from them. Besides, most people couldn’t view the riverboats. Yet, they didn’t violate anti-gambling regulations since they offered it on water.

BetMGM stated in a publication that water was a creative way in which riverboat casinos avoided contravening gambling laws in the nation. Religious groups greatly influenced the passage of some laws since the gambling industry’s growth irked them.

Riverboat Casinos’ Relocation

Most of the riverboat casinos in Illinois, Louisiana, and Mississippi aren’t mobile as they float in one place. But huge paddle wheels propelled the casinos on the Mississippi River in the past.

The introduction of car and train travel gradually reduced the popularity of riverboat travel. So, it made operating a casino following a river cruise schedule uneconomical. Stationary riverboat casinos generate more revenue compared to that of a dynamic casino.

Louisiana lawmakers amended regulations which restricted iGaming to active boats alone. Gill wrote that the leaders made that decision since the state would get more revenue.

Boats had the green light to run games smoothly. Illinois legalized riverboat gambling in 1990, and its lawmakers amended the regulations for docked riverboats to offer and accept bets.

Are Safety and Economics Causing the Gambling Trend?

The country’s three states with riverboat casinos passed laws that permit riverboat casinos to move to dry land. For instance, Louisiana made a law in 2018 that allowed 15 local riverboat casinos to move to land. Illinois passed a regulation in 2019 that allowed ten riverboats to move onshore.

Mississippi amended its constitution in 2005 to permit riverboat casinos to move to land after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the riverboat casino industry. Illinois and Louisiana’s shifts state that more people have embraced casino gaming. They eliminated the need for casino operators to relegate their properties to river excursions.

Still, Athina Zisi, a former Energy Casino COO and Bet365 operations coordinator stated that various cultures are accepting gambling, and more jurisdictions are allowing it.

Last Updated on by Ryan

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