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Louisiana land casino delayed by hurricane to open fall 2022

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Posted at 1:10 PM, Aug 25, 2021

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — A southwest Louisiana riverboat casino that was damaged by a hurricane last year will reopen on land next year.

Construction of a new Horseshoe Casino should be complete next fall in Lake Charles, where Hurricane Laura damaged the construction site and pushed the Isle of Capri riverboat casino under a bridge, news agencies reported.

Among other things, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board agreed last week that Caesars Entertainment could demolish an older hotel at the site because of major hurricane damage, The American Press reported.

Money set aside to renovate the older hotel can now be used to improve the new tower hotel, said Jeff Favre, Isle of Capri general manager.

The new casino will include more than 60,000 square feet of gambling space, compared to the boat’s 45,000 square feet, The Advocate reported.

The board had approved a move from the permanently moored riverboat to land in December 2019 — the first such approval in the state.

The planned $112.7 million land casino had been scheduled to open this past May. But the hurricane that hit last Aug. 27 derailed that plan. The casino had closed earlier because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When Isle of Capri shut down amid the COVID-19 panic, we had no idea it wouldn’t reopen again for more than two years,” Favre said in a news release. “Between the pandemic and the destruction wrought by Hurricane Laura, the challenges our team members have faced are unparalleled.”

The work is expected to create at least 300 construction jobs, the company said.

The casino’s name change results from a buyout announced in June 2019 and made final in July 2020. Owner Eldorado Resorts bought and changed its name to Caesars Entertainment. Horseshoe is Caesars’ casino brand.

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