Louisiana Riverboat Casinos Not In A Hurry To Come Ashore
It was about a year ago that legislation was passed in the Louisiana Legislature that would allow the state's riverboat casino operators the option to move gaming space and facilities on shore. So far, none of the state's 15 boats have opted to make the move to dry land.
This really doesn't come as a surprise to those in the gaming industry. Moving facilities even as little as 1200 feet, as the law requires, takes planning and major capital investment. So right now, all of the state's boats are just fine with their feet in the water.
There are currently two boats that are at least in the planning stages for bringing some of their gaming operations on shore. Those casinos are the Treasure Chest based in Kenner and the Isle of Capri in Lake Charles. The Belle of Baton Rouge had reportedly been working on expansion plans but it now appears as if those plans are in a holding pattern.
Gaming industry experts say this slow move toward land-based operations actually demonstrates the mindset of the business models of the riverboat operators. As of now the number of customers playing on the state-licensed boats hasn't warranted the move. However, it likely will over the next several years and when the time is right you can expect more riverboat operations to expand on shore.
Perhaps those moves would be stepped up if the Louisiana Legislature would figure out the whole sports betting thing. That way Louisiana casinos could generate the tax revenues that are currently being generated at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Casinos.