The Louisiana State Police statistics reveals that the local poker communities of Lafourche and Terrebonne have spent over $1 billion on video poker alone between 2005 and 2009. According to the data, the local poker players spent more money on video poker than on purchasing clothes in 2009 alone.

The state of Louisiana legalized online gaming in 1991; and ever since, poker has been a hotly debated issue in the state, with health officials stating that the legalization has led to a huge gambling problem in the state. Simultaneously, poker enthusiasts say that it has created jobs, provided business opportunities, led to construction activities, and generated millions of dollars in revenue, which is being used by all local public services.

According to Alton Ashy, the video poker machines have boosted the state’s economy to a considerable extent. But Vicki Harrison, who is a counselor at the Terrebone Addictive Disorders Clinic, begs to differ with Ashy and claims that she has seen several cases of gambling addiction, which in turn leads to disrupted relationships and livelihoods.

The state of Louisiana legalized gambling in 1991, as a result of which riverboat casinos and video poker machines mushroomed all over the state. In 1996, the public revolted against the video poker machines when more than 24 people were booked in relation to a collaborative conspiracy to infiltrate the industry, as a result of which a state representative had to be imprisoned.

However, more video poker machines have been introduced in Lafourche and Terrebonne, according to Louisiana State Police statistics, and these poker machines generate plenty of income for local governments as well as businesses. Poker businesses and gaming companies make their own arrangements with regard to running video poker machines. While certain bars and restaurants purchase these poker machines and operate them on their own, others prefer not to purchase the poker machines, but only run them and split the revenue they generate with poker companies that own these machines.

The state also gets a considerable portion of the poker revenue, which is used to support a wide range of programs and fund the local district attorneys, educative, gambling addiction support, and the Louisiana State Police. The state has received $60.6 million and $105.3 in poker revenue from Lafourche and Terrebonne, respectively. The local economy has also witnessed a boost, with Lafourche witnessing a growth of $17.5 million and Terrebonne witnessing a growth of $27.6 million ever since gambling was legalized.

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