Caesars Completes Sale of Eldorado Shreveport to Bally’s Corp.

Caesars Entertainment Logo
Caesars Entertainment completed its sale of Eldorado Shreveport to Bally’s corporation last week to satisfy the stipulation imposed by the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year after its merger with Eldorado.

The $17.3 merger created the largest gamblig company in the United States. The FTC required the surviving entity to dispose some of its casinos in markets that presented anti-trust issues. In Louisiana, Caesars was to sell Belle of Baton Rogue and Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack in Bossier City along with Eldorado Shreveport. The sale of the two other Louisiana casinos are still pending.

Said Caesars CEO Tom Reeg of the sale:

“Since our acquisition of the property 15 years ago, our team members’ passion and commitment have driven our success in Shreveport. We wish all of them continued success under Bally’s ownership.”

Important For Bally’s Corp.

The $140M purchase is important for Bally’s for several reasons. First, it aids the Rhode Island-based gambling company’s geographical diversification efforts, also diversifying its revenue source while diluting the concentration on its home market. The acquisition also enabled Bally’s to enter the 5th largest betting market in the United States, which is expected to boom even more with the approval of sports betting in the state.

After sealing the Shreveport deal, Bally’s now has a total of 11 casinos across seven different states, one horse track, 13 off track betting licenses in Colorado. With still other pending deals waiting to be completed, Bally’s is expected to control 14 gambling properties in 10 different states when all is said and done.

Not The First Buyer

While Bally’s is the company that closed the deal, it wasn’t the first buyer for the Louisiana casino. It can be recalled that last January, Eldorado announced that it would be selling the Shreveport property to Maverick Gaming LLC for $230M. However, that deal collapsed at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

ERC then struck a deal with Twin River Worldwide Holdings, the predecessor of Bally’s last April. Twin River spent $20M for the control of the Bally name, brand, and intellectual property. Last month, Twin River completed the $25M acquisition of Bally’s Atlantic City. Shares of Bally closed at $49.14 or up by $1.66 after the announcement of the completion of the Shreveport deal.

Hollywood Casino To Change Its Name to Casino Rogue

Louisiana State Flag With a Casino Background
Hollywood Casino will be renamed as Casino Rogue after the completion of its new casino building on land in 2022.

The East Baton Rogue Parish Planning Council will consider site plans in a meeting on Monday. If all goes well according to plan, construction will begin in early 2021 with 166 construction jobs created and a labor spend of $10M.

$25M Expansion

To move the Louisiana casino to land, the owners of Hollywood Casino are embarking on a $21-$25M expansion to its dockside facility while turning the valet parking to an indoor gaming space. The riverboat casino’s 859 slot machines and 12 table games will move into the new 100,000-square-foot-casino.

The expansion plans include the addition of a sports bar and a 250-seat entertainment venue as well as a Shaquille O’Neal Big Chicken Restaurant. The NBA Hall of Famer played college ball at LSU in Baton Rogue. Since East Baton Rogue voters already approved sports betting last month, Hollywood Casino is expected to take advantage by establishing a sports betting shop in the sports viewing area and bar.

Plans To Move To Land

Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc., the owners of Hollywood Casino based in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, have been planning to move Hollywood Casino to land since 2018. That year, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill that allowed the state’s 15 casinos to move to land, with the catch that the land-based venues must be conducted within 1,200 feet of the original docking site.

For the fiscal year ending last June 2020, the Louisiana casino had an adjusted gross revenue of $43.1M. The amount is much lower than the $55.1M it brought in over the same period in 2019 with this year’s figures taking a hit due to the pandemic. For the month of October 2020, it generated $4.1M which is slightly lower than the $4.3M it picked up in October 2019.

$325M Renovation To Transform Harrah’s To Caesars New Orleans

Poker Chip and Roulette and Casino Card Background

The iconic Harrah’s star will be replaced by Caesars’ golden laurel in 2024.

In an announcement last Tuesday, Caesars Entertainment revealed a $325M renovation and expansion that will transform Harrah’s New Orleans to Caesars New Orleans by 2024. The renovation was agreed upon last year as part of the company’s deal with the Louisiana Legislature to extend Caesars’ license to operate the casino until 2054. However, as part of the approval process, it still needs to go through the New Orleans Building Corporation.

Said Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg:

“We are excited to introduce Caesars New Orleans to the city. As the only land-based gaming operator in the city, we take great pride in our 20-year history in New Orleans, and this reinvestment is a testament to our continued commitment.”

Preliminary Plans

According to Caesars Entertainment, they will add an all-new 340-room hotel tower to the property. Aside from the hotel tower, Harrah’s will get a new carport or “valet porte cochere” at its existing entrance at the intersection of Canal Street and Convention Center Boulevard. New culinary and hospitality offerings will also be introduced within the New Orleans casino. There will also be additional developments in the unoccupied second floor of the New Orleans casino which will be announced later. Per Harrah’s GM Samir Mowad:

“What was shared today is only the beginning of a transformation.”

Caesars Entertainment also said that it wants to offer additional entertainment options aside from gambling at the site. Harrah’s had a 2,200 capacity music venue called Fillmore New Orleans but that venue has been closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Second Major Project

Caesars’ venture is the second major hospitality-related project to the end of Canal Street. Directly towards the street towards the Mississippi River is the $530M conversion of the former World Trade Center to the upscale Four Seasons hotel and condominium complex which is near its completion. The Las Vegas-based casino group said that the New Orleans project will create 600 jobs during its construction phase and it will employ around 500 full-time jobs once the project is completed in 2024, when its 30-year license renewal begins.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell expressed her excitement over the project:

“We are excited that this expansion will mean hundreds of construction jobs during the project and hundreds more in sustainable and new jobs post-construction. The addition of Caesars New Orleans will strengthen our city’s position as the top cultural and entertainment destination city in the nation.”

The merger between Caesars and Eldorado Resorts last July formed the largest gambling group in the United States. The $17.3B takeover process took a year and it included an order from Federal regulators to the merged company to sell several of its casino properties including the Eldorado Casino Resort in Shreveport.

Caesars Entertainment to Sell Belle of Baton Rogue

Louisiana State Flag With a Casino Background
Caesars Entertainment Inc announced on Tuesday that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell the Belle of Baton Rogue to CQ Holdings, Inc.

Caesars owns the operating rights to the Louisiana casino but the property is owned by Gaming & Leisure Properties Inc. Pursuant to the terms of the amended lease agreement with GLPI, Baton Rogue will be removed from GLPI Master Lease and the rent payments to GLPI will remain unchanged. GLIP will retain the ownership of the real estate of Belle of Baton Rogue.

Said Caesars Entertainment Inc. CEO Thomas Reeg in a statement:

“I want to thank all of our Baton Rouge Team Members for their hard work and dedication, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish them the best under Casino Queen’s ownership.”

Third Casino Sold in Louisiana

The Belle of Baton Rouge is one of the 15 riverboat casinos in the Pelican State. It was operated by Eldorado Resorts, the company which merged with Caesars Entertainment in a massive $17.3B transaction last July. It is currently selling several resorts across different markets to comply with anti-competitive rules brought up by state regulators and the Federal Trade Commission.

In Louisiana, Caesars Entertainment has sold Eldorado Shreveport along with the operations of MontBleu Resort Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada to Bally’s Corporation for a combined $155M. It also disposed Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack to Rubico Acquisition Corp for $22M. Those two deals are still pending although agreements have been reached.

Fifth Largest Gaming Market

Once the sale of Eldorado Shreveport, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, and Belle of Baton Rogue are completed, Caesars Entertainment will still have three casinos in the state. Harrah’s New Orleans, which is the only land-based Louisiana casino for now, and two riverboat casinos, namely the Horseshoe Bossier City, and Isle of Capri Lake Charles.

Louisiana is the fifth biggest gaming market in the United States and an key area for several national casino operators at a time when Las Vegas is still sluggish due to the pandemic. Last month, voters in the Pelican state approved legal sports betting by an overwhelming vote. As one of the largest Louisiana casino operators, Caesars is expected to capitalize on that.

Legal Sports Betting Gets Approval in Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota

Sports Betting Graphic and Man Holding Fan of Money
Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota moved one step closer to joining the legal sports betting market in the United States after voters said yes during Tuesday’s elections.

As part of the 2020 USA Elections, prop measures to legalize sports betting were on the ballots of Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota. All three states voted favorably to allow legal sports betting in their jurisdiction. However, the regulatory frameworks on how sports betting will be conducted will still have to be formulated and that will take a while.

A Landslide in Three States

Louisiana residents voted on the prop by each individual parish. The results were in favor of the legalization of sports betting with 55 out of 64 parishes voting in the affirmative. The vote was expected because Louisiana’s neighbors Mississippi and Arkansas have legalized sports betting in 2018 and 2019, respectively. With Texas still not permitting legal sports betting, Louisiana can now take away some of the market.

In Maryland, the voting was done statewide and the vote was an overwhelming YES from all 24 districts of Maryland. The outcome of the vote should be good news for The Washington Football Team who are staying in Maryland. Team owner Dan Snyder has publicly stated that he wants to offer sports betting in the new NFL stadium that he is planning to build.

,Out in South Dakota, the voting was focused to the city limits of Deadwood only and the tribal casinos. As was with the case of Maryland, the vote was strongly for the YES with the prop passed by a 216,673 to 153,611 margin. That means that sports fans visiting Deadwood will soon be able to bet on sports at casinos like the Silverado-Franklin Historic Hotel & Gaming Complex and Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort.

U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 Decision

The landscape of United States sports betting has changed drastically since the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 2018 decision to repeal the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. That law stood for 26 years and limited sports betting primarily to the state of Nevada.

Since the ruling, legal sports betting has operated in 19 states and the District of Columbia. North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington have recently passed legislation to legalize sports betting and are gearing up to launch their respective sports betting markets.

On the other hand, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Ohio, and Vermont have active bills that are pending legislative approval. Once Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota get up and running, more than half of the states in the U.S. will have legal sports betting.

Here’s a Look at Louisiana’s Casino Revenue For September

Golden Nugget Lake Charles

Louisiana is known for having one of the largest and most successful casino industries in the Southern United States. Unfortunately, all of the state’s gambling venues have been badly affected by the events that have been unfolding over the past eight months. Today, we’re going to look at Louisiana’s casino revenue for September.

Things appear to be getting better here. The casinos operating in this state still have a long way to go before they reach pre-pandemic levels, though.

Here’s how much the casinos here managed to bring in last month.

Hurricanes Continue to Affect the Casinos in Louisiana

The state of Louisiana has a casino industry that dates back decades. The majority of gambling venues here are riverboat casinos located in the coastal regions. There are also several popular Native American casinos and “racinos” offering both racing odds and select casino games.

All of these casinos have been hurting this year. For a time, they were forced to remain closed due to health concerns. They began reopening over summer, yet hurricanes have continued to force additional closures.

Back in August, Hurricane Laura struck the Lake Charles area of Louisiana. This part of the state is known for having a huge number of popular casinos. Unfortunately, this hurricane caused the roof of the Golden Nugget Lake Charles to blow off.

Just last week, Hurricane Delta struck the area once again. The casinos were all forced to close down and many are reporting damage. These storms are making an already-difficult year even tougher for the casinos here.

Casino revenue earnings have been fluctuating for months. Some of the major gambling venues here seem to be performing better than others. Today, we’re going to talk about how much the casinos around the state managed to bring in this September.

Some are surprised to see how much money these casinos brought in.

Breaking Down Louisiana’s Casino Revenue for September

Prior to 2020, Louisiana was seeing its gambling revenue increase rapidly. Several new gambling venues have opened here over the past few years. Each time a revenue report comes out in 2020, it becomes clear that this industry still has a long way to go to recover.

New reports from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board show that all of the state’s gambling properties managed to bring in $126 million over the month of September. That’s a drop of 31.3% when compared to the same month in 2019.

The riverboat casinos here managed to bring in the most money. Incredibly, the three riverboat casinos based in Baton Rouge actually saw a 4.6% revenue increase when compared to September of 2019. Lake Charles saw a major dip.

Partly due to the aforementioned hurricanes, Lake Charles saw its casino revenue drop by 64.9% year-on-year. The casinos here managed to bring in just $21.8 million. It’s important to note that some of the casinos here were closed for the entire month.

Video poker is surging here, bringing in $54.5 million. Much of this was earned from the Baton Rouge casinos, which saw $18.8 million in September. The casino industry in New Orleans saw a drop in revenue of 31.2%.

It’s going to take months, if not years for Louisiana’s casino revenue to return to normal. We’ll continue offering monthly updates as they come out. Stay tuned!

2020 Could be the Year Louisiana Finally Legalizes Sports Betting

Lawmakers around the United States have been taking a much closer look at the gambling industry lately. At a time when money is desperately needed, casino and sports betting regulations are beginning to change. 24 states have now passed bills to legalize and regulate sports gambling.

Louisiana will now send the issue of sports betting to the polls in November. Residents here will have the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to allow regulated sports betting platforms in the state. Most predict it will be approved by a wide margin.

This should help to bring the state a massive amount of money each year. States like New Jersey are earning millions each month from the industry. Not long ago, sportsbooks in NJ saw a record handle of $748 million.

It’s an exciting time for sports fans in Louisiana. Richard Carbo, one of the men leading the push for legalized sports betting, spoke about the benefits to the media recently.

“We’re losing out on more than $330 million in taxable revenue while states next door like Arkansas and Mississippi use sports wagering revenues for education and infrastructure,” Carbo said. “That revenue could be used to fund roads and bridges or help fill gaps in education funding here in Louisiana.”

Sports betting may even help to boost Louisiana’s casino revenue in the long-run. Do you think this form of gambling gets approved this year? Let us know in the comments section below!