Louisiana lawmakers once again turn to gambling to boost tax revenue, but is it worth it? Tyler Bridges, Baton Rouge Advocate · April 23, 2019 at 12:01 am It was almost 30 years ago that Louisiana lawmakers first turned to gambling in an effort to replenish state revenues devastated by the late 1980s oil bust. In the three years starting in 1990, they legalized a state lottery, 15 riverboat casinos and a land casino at the foot of Canal Street in New Orleans. In 1997, they legalized slot machines at three of the state’s four racetracks. The fourth — the New Orleans Fair Grounds — got slots a decade later. But tax revenue from gambling, which contributes more to the state treasury than any other industry, has stagnated over the past decade with the saturation of gambling in neighboring states.