Tuesday, May 28, 2024

New owners approved to buy, reopen former DiamondJacks Casino

by Associated Press

A Mississippi company is buying a shuttered casino in northwest Louisiana’s Bossier City, with plans for a $200 million renovation and reopening.

The Times of Shreveport reports that the Louisiana Gaming Commission on Thursday approved the sale of the former Diamond Jacks Casino to Foundation Gaming.

“This is a day we’ve been waiting for a long time,” Gaming Commission Chairman Ronnie Johns said. “Foundation has an impressive plan.”

Foundation says it plans to build the first land-based casino in northwest Louisiana — all the others are on barges — with an aim to reopen by December 2024. The company will choose a new name for the property.

“We’ve put together what we believe will be a great project for the market and for the community,” said Greg Guida, Foundation’s co-chief executive officer.

The property was the first casino to open in northwest Louisiana in 1994, initially doing business as the Isle of Capri.

Local officials are supportive of the Foundation Gaming plan, hoping it will bring jobs and tax dollars. The company currently operates the Fitz Casino in Mississippi’s Tunica County and WaterView Casino in Vicksburg.

Demolition will begin early next year, to be followed by construction on a 47,000-square-foot casino, a sports betting lounge and 300-seat live entertainment venue, as well as renovation of the 405-room hotel.

The existing riverboat will be sold and either floated away on the Red River or taken away in pieces by land.

Diamond Jacks has been closed since 2020, a casualty of what previous owner Peninsula Pacific called the “unexpected impact” of the COVID-19 pandemic. The dilapidated campus has been vacant ever since.

The company sought to transfer its casino license to the New Orleans suburb of St. Tammany Parish, but voters there overwhelmingly rejected allowing casinos.

“Peninsula bought the property to go to St. Tammany,” said Johns, of the Gaming Commission. “When that didn’t work out they bailed out.”

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