Louisiana River Boat Casinos Hope to Move On Land

In a handful of states across the US, there are casinos found not on land, but on the water. Riverboat casinos are what’s left of a bygone era when players often found themselves on a boat when enjoying casino games. In Louisiana, there are still riverboat casinos in action. However, the operators would like to make the switch to land if possible. At least two of the riverboat casinos in the state are trying to make the move.

Moving From Water to Land

The Isle of Capri is a riverboat casino located in Lake Charles that is currently looking to reopen on land. The casino was dislodged last year during a hurricane and will reopen in 2022 as a land-based facility. Caesars Entertainment is the owner of the casino, and they are excited to make the move in the hopes of drawing in more visitors and revenues.

Over in New Orleans, the Kenner City Council voted recently to approve the Treasure Chest casino to move from water to land. Boyd Gaming is the owner of this venue, and they can now move to a larger location, off the water. Currently, the casino is located near the downtown area of New Orleans, on Lake Pontchartrain.

Ben Zahn, the mayor of Kenner, feels that the move will allow the Treasure Chest to bring in more visitors and tax revenues will be increased for the city. The money will help the police department as well as capital projects planned for the city.

The Downsides to Riverboat Gaming

While riverboats are a common form of gambling, especially in Louisiana, it has its downsides. For starters, the venues are only able to offer so many machines and gaming tables due to the size of the vessel. A land-based casino can house many more games than a riverboat, which means more revenue potential.

Secondly, riverboat casinos are at high risk of damage due to the location of the venue. In Louisiana, riverboat casinos are often subject to hurricanes and tropical storms can cause heavy damage as well as extended closures.

Just a few days ago, Tropical Storm Claudette hit the Gulf Coast, causing major damage. Rain and wind damage can cause the riverboats to be shut down for quite some time in order to make repairs. By moving these venues on to land, the casino is less at risk for damage, even if the land-based property is in the path of a hurricane.

Buildings have more fortification than boats do, which puts them less at risk for damage. Even if damage were to occur, it would most likely be minimal or easily repaired when compared to the damage that a riverboat can sustain.

This year, the hurricane season takes place from June 1 to November 30. It is expected to be a busy and dangerous season, so the riverboat casinos will be at risk. Hopefully, the storm damage will be minimal, so the facilities do not have to shut down and lose out on potential revenues.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.