It's the fact that everyone knows, but no one wants to think about too much -- Lake Charles' gambling industry is based entirely on Texas visits. What would happen here if Texas legalized gambling?

An article by Eric Besson in Tuesday's Beaumont Enterprise takes an in-depth look at the arrival of the Golden Nugget casino.  But, even more interesting is their insights into how L'Auberge and the Golden Nugget are actually working together to stoke the gambling fires in Southwest Louisiana.

A boardwalk and a trolley system connect the facilities to allow guests to more easily stroll between the two.

Golden Nugget and L'Auberge have agreed to stagger headline entertainment, both by date and genre, said [Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie] Jones, the gaming control board chairman.

They also agreed to allow guests to put their tab at a restaurant in one casino toward their hotel bill at the other resort, Jones added, and they are finalizing details on how to coordinate hotel stays for overflow guests. -- Beaumont Enterprise

I mean, how many times do you see competitors working together like that in ANY line of business?

The article is also a good history of the project, from its origins as Sugar Cane Bay to its acquisition by billionaire Tillman Fertitta.  But it also looks to the future, noting that for both companies to keep their bottom lines intact, the market in Lake Charles will have to grow by 50 percent.  And where's that growth going to come from?  The west.

It's a pretty fascinating read, if you get the opportunity, and the reporting is a lot more in-depth than anything you'll read here in Lake Charles itself.