Mike Noel, newly appointed Chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, talks about the controversial ruling allowing bars to admit patrons to play video poker, but not allowing the bars to serve players beverages or food while they're playing.

The rule "allows" establishments across the state, currently closed by the Governor's step-back from Phase II openings, to open their doors to patrons, but only if the bars are video poker licensees.

One social media complaint from a local bar owner summarizes their objection.

"This is the biggest slap in the face as a bar owner! We’ve been singled out and not allowed to make a living, yet our state wants us to open up just for video poker so they can still get paid. We’re expected to pay an employee and utilities to have the bar open so ppl can play video poker, but they can’t eat or drink while there. So we’re not allowed to make money, but they are?"

The letter, which was sent to bars across the state, lists Governor John Bel Edwards and Deputy Secretary Kevin Reeves and the Gaming Enforcement Division of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections as the senders and addresses "COVID 19 Reopening." The correspondence says in part:

"Establishments that hold a Type 1 Video Poker Bar license of Type 3 Video Poker Hotel (with a bar) are allowed the operation of two of the three video draw poker devices."

After a detailed explanation of social distancing requirements, the letter continues:

"No food or beverage can be served to the patrons playing and all health, safety and sanitation procedures must be followed, including the use of face coverings"


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