Kennedy Urges Legislature To Delay Harrah’s Contract Extension With The State
U.S. Senator John Kennedy is asking the legislature to hold off on voting a bill to extend Harrah’s New Orleans Casino’s contract with the state for 30 years. Kennedy says media reports that Harrah’s is considering selling the property so the state could unwittingly increase the selling price by extending the contract.
“They’re an 8 billion dollar company. They’ve got the best lawyers and lobbyists money can buy and we need to match them, and rushing this thing through when you’ve got six years left on the contract? It doesn’t smell right to me.”
The House has already passed the measure. A Senate committee was set to debate the bill today, but has delayed discussion. Committee Chair Gary Smith says he postponed discussion, but it wasn’t because of Kennedy.
Meanwhile, Kennedy says there is no rush to renew the contract.
“Maybe that can negotiate quickly. But I know this, there’s no emergency. The contract doesn’t expires for six years for God’s sake.”
Kennedy thinks Harrah’s is trying to pull a fast one.
“Harrah’s didn’t tell us about it. They say, ’Oh, it’s no big deal.’ Well, it is a big deal! And you know how we found out about it? The press found out about it. They read the ‘boiler plate’ language in an obscure filing with the securities exchange commission.”