BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A riverboat casino in Louisiana's capital city has been given approval to move onto land.
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board this week unanimously approved the casino’s request to move off of its aging gambling boat and into the casino’s atrium, news outlets reported. The $35 million project, which will create 200 new jobs, is expected to start construction in April and be finished by May 2024.
There will be a 16,500-square-foot gaming floor in the atrium along the riverfront in downtown Baton Rouge as well as an oyster bar/bistro that will feature a pizza station, wine bar and bowling lanes. There will also be a 2,500-square-foot sportsbook and lounge.
“We see the high traffic that that brings… as well as an energy,” said Stacy Stagg, vice president of nongaming operations for CQ Holdings, which owns the casino.
There would also be cruise line dock access. The docks would be used by American Cruise Lines, which would dock riverboats there for 10 hours, WBRZ-TV reported.
Under the plan, the casino's 90-room hotel will also reopen after a renovation. It and its restaurants closed in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a massive building,” said Terry Downey, president and CEO of CQ Holdings. “There’s unlimited potential on this property.”
He said demolition inside the hotel has already started.
This will be the second riverboat casino to move on shore in Baton Rouge. Hollywood Casino, also owned by CQ Holdings, broke ground in 2021 and is expected to move landside in the middle of 2023.