Alderman wants referendum on bringing in gaming

LONG BEACH — Long Beach alderman Leonard Carrubba has suggested putting a nonbinding casino referendum on the November ballot.

Carrubba tells WLOX-TV he wants to know if Long Beach voters are for or against a casino in their city.

Long Beach voters have turned down gaming before — during two countywide votes. They rejected a gaming referendum again in 1993 during a city election.

However, it was a different story in 2006. That is when Long Beach voters passed a nonbinding referendum, supporting a casino on the north side of U.S. 90, across from the harbor.

Carrubba said a lot has changed in the city since those post-Hurricane Katrina days.

“After Katrina, when everything here was washed away pretty much south of the tracks, there was a vote that was taken at that point,” said Carrubba.

“I just wanted to check now to see how people felt about it. A lot of the churches have built back, a lot of the schools have built back. Long Beach is really growing now and it’s a different place now than it was in 2006.”

Although he’s pushing for another nonbinding casino referendum, Carrubba says he doesn’t have an opinion on the matter.

“Whatever the people say is what I want to do. I really want to do that,” said Carrubba. “If the vote is ‘yes,’ I want to bring the best one here. If it’s ‘no,’ we need to go ahead and try and move on and find something else.”

If the casino question does appear on the ballot, Carol Wiggins, an employee of the Cajun Crawfish Hut on U.S. 90, knows how she’ll vote.

“I would vote definitely yes,” said Wiggins.

“I think it’ll be great for the community,” said Wiggins. “Like more people coming to the restaurants and bringing in more money for us to do better things for youth here in Long Beach.”

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