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US – Gaming and Leisure Properties break ground on Baton Rouge relocation

By - 16 August 2021

Gaming and Leisure Properties has broken ground on the project that will relocate its Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge riverboat casino onto dry land in 2022.
Baton Rouge will be the first casino in Indiana to take advantage of a 2018 law change allowing the state’s riverboat casinos to move to a landside facility.

Hollywood Casino Marketing Vice President Aaron Mollura said: “Going land-based was something we thought would enhance the product and make it better. The existing Riverboat customers going means up and down a lot of stairs, land-based is one floor, so it’s a lot easier getting in and out. With a boat you’re very constricted to the space you can use.”

The new casino will cover 100,000 square feet of land with a single-level casino floor covering over 27,000 square feet. It will house the existing riverboat casino’s 859 slot machines and 12 table games as well as a sportsbook. The company recently upped the cost of the project from $25m to$60m, believing the change to a landside facility will bring significant economic benefits to Downtown Baton Rouge. In addition, the project is expected to bring 166 construction jobs to the area with total labour spend of approximately $10m.

The all-new Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge will offer players a variety of exciting new gaming and entertainment experiences, including indoor and outdoor gaming including full service and amenities. Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken Restaurant will combine Shaq’s love of fried chicken, BBQ and adult milkshakes under one roof with indoor and outdoor dining overlooking the Mississippi River. A sports bar/restaurant and entertainment venue will offer 250 seats, including a mezzanine overlooking the Mississippi River as well as an outdoor patio to watch sports and live music or to host a party. There will also be a sports viewing area which will provide guests with a comfortable place to have a drink and watch the games.

Jeannie Magdefrau, General Manager of Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge, said: “Our move landside is expected to contribute approximately $500m of positive economic impact to the region in its first six years of operation and will provide our current and new guests with a state-of-the art gaming and entertainment destination in the city. Further, 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.”

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