Hollywood Casino Baton Rogue to Debut New Name in 2023

Sky View of Baton Rouge Louisiana
Hollywood Casino in Baton Rogue will get a new name when the downtown casino launches its $70 million in late spring 2023.

The project broke ground in August and was supposed to be completed in the second half of 2022. But because of its proximity to the levee, construction had to stop when the Mississippi River is at a particular water level.

$70 Million Landside Expansion Project

The expansion will see Hollywood add 33,000 square feet to its atrium by converting the valet area parking to an indoor space. The riverboat’s 859 slot machines and 12 table games will be moved to land.

A DraftKings sportsbook will be featured in the casino as well as Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken Restaurant. The renovated casino will also have a coffee shop and a noodle restaurant. Once the current project is completed, Hollywood plans to add a hotel to compliment the casino.

Belle and Hollywood Will Be Different From Each Other

Also, the Belle of Baton Rogue hopes to go to the Louisiana Gaming Board before June to get permission to move the Belle to land. The purchase of the riverboat casino by CQ Holding Company was completed last week. But although the Belle and Hollywood now have the same owner, the two will be different from each other.

Belle will have its own branded sportsbook while Hollywood will have a DraftKings sportsbook. The restaurants in each casino will be different. With both moving to land, CQ hopes to get a good share of the Baton Rogue market which has been dominated by L’Auberge Baton Rogue.

Louisiana Riverboat Casinos Moving to Land

Some riverboat casinos in Louisiana are moving to land in reaction to the 2018 legislature which allows them to move off of their current river boats or barges and onto land. The law was passed to induce investments by getting the riverboat casinos to add hotels, restaurants, pools, spas, and other attractions.

The Isle of Capri Lake Charles is set to reopen on land as Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles after its floating casino barge was damaged by Hurricane Laura. Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner is also set to move to land as part of its $90 million expansion that could open in late 2023.

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.