Louisiana's riverboat casino trade association chose Charles Barham, a former Ruston lawmaker, who served in the state Senate for 16 years, as its new president
. Barham said one of his top priorities is to develop a positive image for the riverboat industry.
He plans to launch a media campaign to inform the public about the positive effect of the riverboat gaming industry on the Louisiana economy. Louisiana's 13 riverboats paid
$235 million in state taxes during the 1997-98 fiscal year, and the industry employs en estimated 14,060 workers.