The Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge is moving onshore after the approval of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
Hollywood Casino Gets Go-Ahead to Move Onshore
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board has given the go-ahead to the Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge to relocate permanently in the state, moving onshore from currently operating on the Mississippi River. The casino should relocate at some point by 2022 or that year.
This marks the second time that the gaming regulator has allowed a riverboat casino to relocate onshore. The first one was the Isle of Capri in Westlake which will move to a new facility and open by mid-2021.
Both decisions are a result of the legislation passed by lawmakers and approved by the governor in 2018, allowing riverboat casinos to move into the state. Owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI), Hollywood Casino will need to spend up $25 million to construct a brick-and-mortar facility and pay no less than $21 million.
GLPI expects the construction works to bring in some economic benefits as well, creating 166 construction jobs and spending as much as $10 million on labor locally in Downtown Baton Rouge.
This is the first of two planned projects by GLPI which is a real estate investment trust with over 45 gaming properties in the United States. It already leases properties to established gaming brands, such as Boyd Gaming, Caesars Entertainment and Penn National Gaming.
Great Economic Effect Expected in Downtown Baton Rouge
Moreover, Hollywood Baton Rouge expects even a bigger economic windfall for the region. According to the brand’s general manager, Jeannie Magdefrau, the economic impact on the area should amount to $500 million in just the first six years of running the casino.
“By moving landside we can sell and/or move the boat to free up dock space so that we can increase visitation from what is an ever-expanding Mississippi River cruise business.”
-Hollywood General Manager Jeannie Magdefrau
Hollywood Baton Rouge will be one of the three casinos to operate in the region. According to Louisiana’s gaming regulator latest numbers, Baton Rouge generated $4.4 million in gaming revenue in July, although the property is experiencing the downturn of the COVID-19 lockdown.
The casino will compete with the current market leader, which is the Penn National Gaming’s L’Auberge du Lac Baton Rouge. Despite its market leadership position, though, the L’Auberge property had to lay off 160 workers.
To compete with L’Auberge, though, Hollywood plans to create a facility no smaller than the existing riverboat casino, which sprawls on 29,000 square feet. GLPI is planning to build both indoors and outdoors gaming facilities and will add a sports bar and restaurant to the venue, with 250 seats and room for additional 200 guests.
Overall, the brick-and-mortar property should reach 66,000 square feet with all the meeting facilities, amenities and dining options Hollywood is planning to bring along.