Louisiana Casinos Polish Image

Bernard & Jurisich has launched a $1 million image campaign for the Louisiana Casino Association, which in the wake of recent gaming scandals highlights the industry’s contributions to the state’s tax rolls and employment rates.
“What a difference one industry makes” is the tagline for three 30-second television spots and a half-dozen print ads from the New Orleans agency. The campaign launched last Friday.
The trade association, representing casino operators statewide, said the industry has suffered a black eye through guilt by association with corrupt politicians in Louisiana, who are at the heart of recent troubles. This is the first image campaign for the gaming group.
One TV spot centers on the 15,000 jobs the casino industry’s 13 riverboats have contributed to the state. The ad shows cameos of different sets of people getting what they want: a Caribbean vacation, dental braces for the kids, and a new home.
“We did a statewide study and found out that the thing that people like most about the casino industry is the life changes it has made for its employees and the tax dollars it brings to the state and local governments,” said B&J principal Judy Jurisich.
Another spot focuses on the $1 billion a year in state taxes the industry pays. It shows a man driving to work day after day, hitting the same pothole. One day, the pothole has been fixed.
Louisiana’s casino industry has suffered from a multitude of problems involving politicians since gaming was legalized in 1991. The latest involves former Gov. Edwin Edwards, his son and a handful of associates that federal witnesses–including San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr.–have testified extorted kickbacks in exchange for riverboat casino licenses.
In contrast, the Baton Rouge, La.-based trade association said no casino operators in Louisiana have ever been accused of criminal activity.