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Louisiana Casinos and Gambling
Short Summary: Louisiana is one of the most liberal states of the fifty in terms of its gaming offerings. The only forms of gambling to be found in multiple other states that have not been legalized and regulated in Louisiana are online gambling and sports betting, though Legislation has been introduced and we expect to see something passed in the next year or two.
The State of Louisiana, despite otherwise Conservative leanings, is one of the least restrictive states of the fifty when it comes to gambling, particularly land-based gambling. The following forms of gambling are legal within the state’s borders:
- Commercial Casinos
- Tribal Casinos
When it comes to charitable gambling, the state issues licenses to operators who wish to conduct such activity and has fees on select types of gambling (such as a 3% fee based on pull tabs revenue) but does not charge fees for other types of gambling beyond the licensing fee, such as bingo.
Louisiana is home to a handful of live racetracks featuring horse racing and conducting events during certain times of the year. At this time, and for the past few years, all of these horse racetracks have been propped up by some form of casino or racino with slots and/or table games. Greyhound racing is not permitted to be conducted live within the state’s borders.
The Louisiana State Lottery may not do as well in sales as those of other states, but those numbers are largely due to the thriving casino industry within the state. Most states (such as Louisiana) realize that more forms of gambling is a better way to go for state revenues, as many as possible, in fact, but to some extent, casino gambling is going to take away some lottery sales.
For Fiscal Year Ending 2018
The Louisiana Lottery pulled in about 491M (estimate) in sales and paid out about 263.6M in prizes, which comprises a total return to the players of about 53-54%, somewhere in that range. These sales were led by on-line sales, but that does not mean Internet sales in this case, rather it refers to sales for drawing lottery games, as opposed to instant. Drawing sales accounted for between 55-56% of lottery total sales for the year.
Louisiana is one of the states to participate in the two major national lotteries: Powerball and MegaMillions. Average (mean) lottery sales come out to about $105/resident for that Fiscal Year 2018. This is an improvement over FY2017, but comes in still less than FY2016. Again, these figures as compared to other states (on a per resident basis) are largely due to the state having so many other legal forms of gambling…with much better returns to player, at that.
The state is home to several Commercial and/or Tribal casinos, to be discussed in greater detail later, that offer the full gamut of casino games. Poker, Table Games, Slots…all of these are legalized and regulated in the state and provide a significant source of revenue.
Louisiana is one of the few states to specifically OUTLAW Internet Gambling, as you can see here.
Which states: “Whoever commits the crime of Gambling by Computer shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.”
As a practical matter, we could uncover no instance of an individual facing either of these penalties, or any at all, for acting as a mere player as opposed to an operator of an online casino. However, the law is technically enforceable.
Interestingly, as recently as 2018, there were bills before the Legislature with the goal of legalizing and regulating both online gambling and sports betting. Specifically, the official to advance these bills stated that Louisiana could simply model their laws after those in other states. In the case of online gambling, this would mean legalizing and regulating only those online casinos (such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania) with physical ties to the state.
The 2019 Congressional session is set to begin (or has begun depending when you are reading this) on April 8th, both online gambling and sports betting are expected to be prominent issues before the Legislature once again. If the Legislature can get it through, expect it to be approved by Governor John Bel Edwards, who stated, “I think it’s something that we need to do and not for the sake of expanding gaming in Louisiana. It’s basically to insulate our current businesses,” Johns said. “We know we are starting to lose business to Mississippi.”
This necessity was also brought up, though without avail, during the 2018 Legislative session. At least one Congressman made it a point to say that he is not a diehard advocate of the expansion of gambling for its own sake, per se, but he does recognize that the state needs revenues and that’s how you get revenue.
Much like states such as Illinois and West Virginia, the State of Louisiana allows limited Video Lottery Terminal operations to take place just about anywhere, including: bars, restaurants, hotels, racetracks and truckstops. Just make sure not to stay parked at the pump while you’re playing: that’s just rude.
The only Commercial Casino in the State of Louisiana (not racetrack or riverboat) is Harrah’s New Orleans. Based on the fiscal year 2018, They made about 288.5 million in revenues compared to the 281.6 million in revenues for the Fiscal Year ending June 2017.
However, the numbers (on a same month basis) have been up-and-down month-to-month since then. Based on the most recent report available as of this writing, February 2019 (comprises July 1 2018 to February 28 2019), the year to date total is 190.3M for FY2019 compared to 187.1M for FY2018, YTD.
Similarly, overall FY2019 YTD numbers have increased for slot track revenues compared to FY2018, so it may be a bit disingenuous to say that the state is losing money, but certainly, more money would be made by expanding to offer online betting as well as sports wagering. We have seen in the past that Louisiana is a state generally willing to pull the trigger on gambling expansion, so we should expect to see a bill get through by next year, if not this year.
Where the state has largely seen actual declines is in Riverboat Gambling. As we see, they got slammed in February compared to the previous year, and other reports are available here. Which enables you to see a consistent downward performance trend. These Riverboats will certainly benefit from sports betting and/or the ability to offer online casinos by way of their, “Physical,” presence within the state.
Harrah’s owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation (CET) should be ready to roll on this, as well, given that they already have online casino operations (on direct and via affiliate online casinos) in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The Legality Of Online Gambling In Louisiana
As we touched upon earlier, Louisiana is one of the few states in the US in which online gambling (at least currently) is patently illegal with specific penalties proscribed for violators. There are some (myself included) who would argue that this sort of enacting of a law is just protectionism vis-a-vis land-based methods of gambling, or those offered by the lottery, as opposed to any kind of great moral stand. When it comes to a state such as Utah, definitely a moral issue for the Conservative Mormon citizenry, but for a state as otherwise gambling-friendly as Louisiana, reeks of protectionism.
With that said, there are a number of Legislators who are willing to advance bills that would legalize online gambling, and it has been hinted that it will be done in a fashion similar to those states who already conduct such operations. In other words, it is extremely likely that there will be required ties to a land-based casino, racetrack or riverboat within the state in order to offer online gambling.
As a practical matter, it is extremely unlikely that anyone would ever be prosecuted for gambling online in the context of a mere player, and we have been able to find not a single instance. For one thing, how would they know you were doing it?
Top 4 Louisiana Casino Sites
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Land Casinos In Louisiana (And Racetracks And Riverboats!)
Louisiana has as many casinos listed as any state except Nevada, but most of them are small. Laws in the state allow many establishments to have up to 50 video gaming machines, so many of the casinos listed on this page aren’t much more than a bar or truck stop with 50 slot machines. The smaller locations won’t generally have traditional slot machines. The machines are poker based. You have to visit one of the larger casinos to play slots.
It is necessary to discuss Louisiana’s racetracks and riverboats if one is to discuss land casinos, and that is because Harrah’s New Orleans is technically the only land-based casino. The so-called, “Riverboats,” come from an old law that mandated that the gambling could not take place on land in the State of Louisiana, similar to laws that existed in states such as Missouri or Illinois, but the law has since been changed in the case of The Pelican State.
Functionally, these riverboats and racetracks are no different from land-based casinos, especially as it relates the presence of electronic gaming devices.
Harrah’s New Orleans
It makes sense to get the biggest casino in the state, and technically the only land-based one, out of the way first. This casino alone pulls over 10% of the revenue as do all of the Riverboat casinos in the state, combined. For February of 2019, for example, Harrah’s pulled in about 22.4 million in revenue as compared to 149.8M for the Riverboats, just shy of 15%.
In terms of gaming space, Harrah’s New Orleans comes in at a whopping 115,000 square feet. For those of you familiar with Las Vegas casinos, this compares pretty closely to Luxor, which comes in at 120K square feet. For you Atlantic City aficionados out there, this casino would come in at 15,000 square feet greater than that of Resorts Atlantic City.
According to their website, Harrah’s New Orleans boasts over 1,500 slot machines as well as 224 video poker machines, which is a surprisingly precise listed number! Most sites would just say, “Over 200.” Having been to Harrah’s New Orleans personally, I can say with absolute surety that this number must include multi-game machines, such as those found on the bartops.
The property has recently gone non-smoking, but smoking courtyards (three, specifically) with a combined over 200 slot machines and video poker machines are available.
The property offers the usual staple of table games given its size which includes, but are not necessarily limited to: Midi-Baccarat, Mini-Baccarat, Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Four-Card Poker, Let it Ride, Fortune Pai-Gow Poker, High-Card Flush, Big Six and Criss-Cross Poker. There is also a live poker room consisting of twenty tables of Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha and Seven-Card Stud.
In terms of the aesthetics of the property, personally, I would hardly consider the casino itself opulent, though it is quite nice with a focus on ample walking space between the banks of machines. The high limit area is situated somewhat in the middle of the casino as is a relatively large video poker bank. The hotel for this casino is quite nice and is located across Canal Street relative to the casino itself. There is an underground walkway to the casino if you want to avoid crossing the busy street, but as I was only there for one night (several hours, really) I didn’t bother to try to find it. The hotel consists of 450 rooms and suites.
In terms of dining, there are two steakhouses (one of which is a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse) as well as seven casual dining establishments, including the buffet. Unfortunately, most of these were closed during the time that I was there, so I do not have any personal opinions to offer on any of these. My only real opinion is of the food court, casino prices, so as you probably know that means more than you would pay for the same thing anywhere else.
Alcoholic beverages are free for those actively playing at the tables or any machine.
Finally, Harrah’s New Orleans is part of the CET Total Rewards players club program as with most, if not all, casinos under the various CET brands. This program includes perks for higher level tier holders that apply at all CET branded casinos (or, as applicable, in the case of Diamond Lounges), but in many ways this casino markets separately from the others. For example, free play and match play offers are casino-specific rather than universal.
The first of the Riverboat casinos that we will discuss, Boomtown Bossier City is located in (you guessed it) Bossier City, Louisiana and was formerly known as Casino Magic Bossier City. Owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and operated by Penn National Gaming (as is the case with several other casinos nationwide, including The Meadows in Pennsylvania) this hotel and riverboat features nearly 200 guest rooms as well as 37,000 square feet of gambling space.
While that may seem small, keep in mind that many of these Riverboats have been around for decades and were designed to be small as there are several of them. Once again, Harrah’s New Orleans is the only land-based casino proper. Boomtown Bossier is fairly standard in size by riverboat standards.
This casino features slots and video poker, though their website neglects to give any easily-accessible mention of how many. The site also makes claim to, “Exciting Table Games,” while again neglecting to state how many or which ones. This is actually a pretty poor website showing for a such a large casino company, to be honest.
The property features three casual eateries (one of which is a buffet) as well as a steakhouse called 1800 Prime Steakhouse.
ElDorado is a moderately-sized casino chain operating under banners such as El Dorado and Isle of Capri, as well as some purchased properties who retained their original names, two examples of which are Mountaineer Casino in Chester, West Virginia and Scioto Downs Racino, located in Columbus, Ohio.
This particular property bearing the ElDorado moniker, often stylized as ELDORADO, is located in Shreveport, Louisiana and sits in about the middle of the pack of the riverboats in terms of gambling revenue. The hotel features a total of 401 rooms and suites.
The casino features a total of over 1,500 slot, video poker and video keno machines as well as over fifty table games. Table games include Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps and Roulette. Other than the traditional table games, this property also deals Casino War, Flop Poker, Caribbean Stud, Pai-Gow and Mississippi Stud. As with anywhere, the hours on the more novelty-type games will vary, so it’s a good idea to call if looking for something specific. The property also features a poker room housing Texas Hold ‘Em as well as Omaha Hi/Lo.
In terms of dining, the property features a steakhouse known as, “The Vintage,” as well as four casual dining establishments, including a buffet. Other amenities include a spa, fitness center and gift shop.
Also known as, “Horseshoe Bossier City,” this casino/hotel is located in Bossier City and features a room count of 606 rooms and suites. For fiscal year to date 2019 (beginning in July and going to February) this riverboat casino is third in total revenue amongst riverboats.
The property boasts in excess of 1,500 slot machines, sixty table games, over 200 video poker machines as well as a fourteen table poker room. Table games include Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Let it Ride, Mississippi Stud and Three-Card Poker. The poker room deals Texas Hold ‘Em fairly exclusively.
Horseshoe boasts several shows with highly-recognized comedians and bands, including several acts that are still relevant to this day. Most casinos of this size tend to have 90’s or early-2000’s one-hit wonders or bands with a limited number of hits, so it’s refreshing to see such recently huge performers showing up at this venue.
In terms of eateries, this casino features two upscale restaurants: Asian cuisine called Four Winds as well as Jack Binion’s Steakhouse. There are three places for casual eats, including the buffet.
The property also features a pool known as, “DARE Pool,” as well as a spa. Guests should be informed that the pool is open to the general public with a $5.00 fee, so as a result, it’s not unusual for the pool area to be absolutely packed with people. Good for the general public, of course, but perhaps not so desirable for actual guests of the hotel.
Diamondjacks is one of the smaller riverboat casinos in the State of Louisiana and this is clearly reflected in its revenues, typically either dead last or close to it on a month-to-month basis. Diamondjacks features roughly 400 hotel rooms as well as an RV Park and is located in Bossier City, Louisiana.
In terms of a players club, Diamondjacks offers a strictly in-house players club program that consists of four different tier levels with offers and perks exclusive to the different tier levels.
The property features over 800 slot and video poker machines as well as a smallish table games area consisting mainly of the staples, Blackjack, Craps and Roulette. Three-Card Poker (which is arguably a staple) can also be found as well as Mississippi Stud.
There is a lounge called Agave which features largely local/area acts with no cover charge.
There are three restaurants including the buffet and a steakhouse called DJ’s Seafood and Steaks. There is also an outdoor pool that is open seasonally.
The full name is Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, and this casino/hotel is located in Shreveport Louisiana. It boasts 514 hotel rooms and suites. In terms of gross revenue, it’s in the lower-middle of the pack amongst the Louisiana Riverboats. This property was previously the Harrah’s Shreveport, but as with the Sam’s Town located on Boulder Highway in Las Vegas, it is now owned by Boyd Gaming as part of the BConnected players club program.
The 30,000 square-foot gaming area may come in a bit small, but this casino features the variety one would imagine with several hundred video poker and slot machines. The property features a few big jackpot linked progressives, which it lists on its site here.
Table Games include Blackjack, Craps, Craps No More (read: Crapless Craps), Roulette, Mini-Baccarat, Mississippi Stud and Let it Ride. As with anywhere, it is advised to call ahead for hours if you are looking for one of the novelty-type games, or anything other than Blackjack, really.
There is one fine dining establishment, William B’s Steakhouse, as well as three casual dining eateries inclusive of a buffet. The property also features a spa known as spa blu (stylized as all lowercase, not an error) as well as a fitness center and outdoor pool, weather permitting.
In terms of gaming, this property basically has most of what any other property would have, but it’s definitely a destination for adults as there really isn’t a whole lot for the family. Also, there is no poker room at this property, so if that’s what you’re looking for, this wouldn’t be the destination for you if you like staying where you play.
Margaritaville Resort Casino is located in Bossier City, Louisiana and is fourth in gross revenue year-to-date for FY 2019 as of February; this is inclusive of July 2018-February 2019. Despite the revenue success, the casino floor is a surprisingly small 26,500 square feet, making it one of the smaller casino floors amongst the riverboats. There are roughly 1,200 slot machines as well as about fifty table games. The hotel consists of 395 guest rooms and suites.
The three things about this property are that its name, ownership and operation all belong to three different companies: the name is used under license of Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, it is owned by a company called Vici Properties and is operated by Penn National Gaming. Vici Properties actually owns the real estate of several casinos around the country, however, they generally lease operations to Caesars Entertainment. In fact, Margaritaville is the only casino for which operation is leased to Penn National Gaming.
Interestingly enough, this riverboat isn’t even technically on the river. In order to comply with the law, this barge is housed in a two-foot deep (yes, you’re reading that right) pool of water consisting of water that is pumped in from the nearby Red River. In other words, not only does this ship not sail, it literally couldn’t…even if it were actually a boat.
While I haven’t been there personally, I would expect a somewhat tightly packed casino floor given the number of machines relative to the negligible square footage. Table Games include Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, Baccarat, Mississippi Stud, Let it Ride and Three-Card Poker. Despite the substantial revenue, but probably owing to the small size of the casino floor, there is no poker room or live poker.
Even though the property is operated by Penn National Gaming, this property is not part of the MyChoice Players Club, most likely due to the fact that Vici Properties would be working against its own interests (most properties owned by them being operated by CET) to allow that. Therefore, the Margaritaville Casino players club is unique to this casino. There are four different tier levels each with their own benefits and perks.
This property features six total dining establishments including a steakhouse known as Jimmy’s Seafood and Steak as well as two buffets. One of the buffets is more traditional while the other is mainly an Asian buffet.
Other amenities include a pool, spa and fitness center, all of which are exclusive to hotel guests.
Isle Lake Charles
The full name of this property is Isle of Capri Lake Charles and it should come as no surprise that it should be located in Lake Charles, Louisiana. As with other Isle locations, this property is owned and operated by the middle-sized El Dorado Gaming. Their website neglects to state its room count and offers a phone number for what appears to be a national phone line, so we say call them if you really must know! The website does deign to inform us that there is a fitness center as well as a seasonal pool and hot tub.
In terms of gross revenue, this casino sits right about in the middle of the riverboat pack in the state. For FY YTD 2019 (July ‘18-February ‘19 as of the time of this writing) it is eighth of the fourteen riverboat casinos.
The property features a combined total of over 1,100 slots, video poker and video keno machines which actually ranks on the upper end in terms of count amongst the riverboats. They have over thirty table games including Blackjack, Craps, EZ Baccarat, Let it Ride, Mississippi Stud, Roulette and Three-Card Poker. As of the time of this writing, the advertising on their website that $5 Blackjack is available around the clock, but if that’s very important to you, you might want to call and make sure such is still the case. The property also features Texas Hold ‘Em Bonus, which is a fairly hard to find table game similar to Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em.
In terms of players club, this operates under the ONE Club which is shared by many casinos owned by El Dorado. There may be some benefits associated with this, but as far as direct offers are concerned, El Dorado casinos tend to market themselves separately.
There are three dining establishments at this property inclusive of a buffet and two other casual dining venues. One of these is an Otis & Henry’s, which can be found at quite a few El Dorado properties. Live entertainment largely consists of free local acts appearing on Fridays and Saturdays.
L’Auberge Lake Charles
Located in Lake Charles, this casino is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and operated by Penn National Gaming, which is the case with several casinos across the country. It is currently for FY 2019 (July 2018-February 2019) the second leading riverboat casino in the state, very close to first place Golden Nugget Lake Charles, in terms of gross revenue for the YTD. These two riverboats lead all others by far not only in YTD revenues, but also on a month-to-month basis. The property has 999 guestrooms and suites.
This property features 80 table games as well as a combined 1,600 combined slots, video poker and video keno machines. This comes as no surprise for the second-leading producer of gross revenues in the state. As one would expect from such a sizable establishment, there is a vast array of table games including Big Table Baccarat, EZ Baccarat, Midi-Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps, Fortune Pai-Gow Poker, Four-Card Poker, High Card Flush, Mississippi Stud, Three-Card Poker, Roulette and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em. As anywhere, if you prefer one of the more novelty type games, you would likely do well to call and inquire when such a table is generally open.
There are essentially two poker rooms consisting of the main room and high-stakes area. Games offered include Limit Texas Hold ‘Em, No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pot Limit Omaha. This is definitely one of the more sizeable poker areas in the state, coming in at a combined 2,100 square feet.
There are four casual eating establishments, which includes Le Beaucoup Buffet (this directly translates to “Very Much Buffet”!) as well as the Jack Daniel’s Steakhouse Bar and Grille. Aside from the Jack Daniel’s Bar and Grille, there are three other main bars in this establishment.
There are a number of non-gambling related activities for the family including golf, a spa, a pool, barber shop and outdoor activity area called Touloulou’s. Being stuck inside due to weather isn’t even a problem for the kids as this property also comes equipped with an arcade. As far as destinations for the family-minded casino-goer are concerned, this is about as good as it gets in the State of Louisiana.
Finally, this casino is part of the MyChoice players club, which is the case with many nationwide casinos operated by Penn National Gaming.
Golden Nugget Lake Charles
The Golden Nugget in Lake Charles, Louisiana is generally the top riverboat casino in the state in terms of gross revenue and is currently the top grossing casino in the state overall. This is certainly the case for FY YTD 2019 which includes numbers from July 2018 to February 2019. At that point, Golden Nugget had pulled 212.7M in revenues. This is also the newest riverboat property in the state having opened in February 2014 and boasts 1,038 guest rooms.
As with other Golden Nugget locations, this property is owned and operated by Landry’s Inc.
This property features an eighteen hole golf course as well as 30,000 square feet just in meeting space, which is bigger than many entire casino floors! The property was originally set to operate as an Ameristar, but then Pinnacle Gaming acquired the entire Ameristar company which would then result in them owning more Louisiana casinos than the state would allow. It was at this point that Pinnacle agreed to sell the property to Landry’s Inc., on virtually a dollar-for-dollar basis, relative to the amount that had been spent in the building of the property to that point.
In terms of gaming, the property features a combined 1,600 video poker, video keno and slot machines as well as a poker room consisting of six tables and 79 other table games elsewhere. The poker room features No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em almost exclusively, but there is often an Omaha game taking place as well. If Omaha is your game, we recommend calling ahead or looking on Bravo Poker Live to see if there is a game going. Table Games include Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Three-Card Poker, Mississippi Stud, Pai-Gow Poker, Baccarat, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em and EZ Baccarat. For games other than Blackjack and Craps, we would recommend calling ahead to see what times tables are usually running if you have a specific favorite in mind.
The property is home to a dozen eateries, inclusive of a buffet, that range from casual to fine dining. Bill’s Burger Bar and Starbucks are examples of casual places whereas Vic and Anthony’s Steakhouse, Saltgrass Steakhouse, Landry’s Seafood House and Chart House range from upper-casual to upscale. In any event, there’s something for everyone.
The outdoor entertainment venue features a wide range of acts from previously major musical acts to local musical acts and current big names in comedy. Naturally, these mostly require one to purchase or be comped tickets. In addition to the restaurants with bars, there are four bars indoors, two of which (Blue Martini and Rush Lounge) feature local/regional acts on certain days.
Other amenities include the golf course, a barbershop, spa & salon, H2) Pool and Bar, a few shops (mainly clothing as well as a chocolate store), fitness center, business center, tennis courts and an arcade. Given these amenities, much like its Atlantic City counterpart, this property is designed to be great either for people travelling alone or with the kids.
The Amelia Belle casino is located in Amelia, a small town of the same name, and floats near the bottom of the Louisiana Riverboat casinos in both revenues and size. This property is mainly something of a locals casino, though it is owned and operated by Boyd Gaming and, as such, is part of the BConnected rewards program.
The property features over 800 combined video poker, slots and video keno games as well as a total of fifteen table games including Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Three-Card Poker, Mississippi Stud and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em. One would probably do well, given the small size of the property, to call in advance and ensure that your game of choice is generally open on the hours/days that you plan to be there.
There are only two eateries at this property which include the Cajun Buffet as well as the Bayou Cafe, a casual dining establishment.
Boomtown New Orleans
Boomtown New Orleans is a somewhat small casino (30,000 square feet) and hotel (150 guest rooms and suites) located in Harvey, Louisiana, owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties, and operated by Penn National Gaming. This property boasts 1,500 combined video poker, slots and video keno machines as well as thirty table games. Despite the seemingly small size and scope of this property, it is the largest in southeast Louisiana. It originally operated independently as Boomtown Westbank from 1994-1997, but has since been purchased and significantly expanded.
The table games include Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps, Three Card Poker and Pai-Gow Poker. There is a poker room that boasts, “The lowest rake in town,” consisting of seven tables and operating during select hours which can be found here.
With no set closing times, one would guess that they open at the listed times and just kind of close when the games die out. That’s hardly uncommon for a casino of this size.
There are four restaurants open to the general public, all of which are casual and include the buffet. Additionally, there is a private venue called Club 38 for select cardholders and special guests of the casino. This property is also home to one nightclub known as Boomer’s.
As with many Penn National operated properties, this property’s players club is the MyChoice Players Club and the website says that this is in conjunction with Marquee Rewards. Basically, your play could be viewed anywhere, but in terms of direct mail offers, Penn National Gaming properties do tend to operate independently from one another in that regard.
Treasure Chest Casino is located in Kenner, Louisiana, which is actually the seventh-most populated town in the state. This runs in the middle-of-the-pack for the state in riverboat gross revenues and for Fiscal YTD 2019 (July 2018-February 2019) was eighth out of the fourteen.
This property is not home to a hotel of its own, but nearby properties include Hilton Garden Inn & Suites as well as a Crowne Plaza Hotel. This property boasts nearly 1,000 combined video poker, slots and video keno machines as well as 36 table games including roulette, craps, blackjack, Mini-Baccarat, Fortune Pai Gow, Mississippi Stud, Flop Poker (rare find!), Three-Card Poker and Four-Card Poker. Given the somewhat small size of the casino, we would recommend calling ahead for the hours that games other than Blackjack typically operate. This property does not have a live poker room.
There are two eating establishments, both casual, one of which is the buffet and the other called Cafe Pontchartrain.
As with other Boyd Gaming properties, this one is part of the BConnected Players Club program.
This is essentially a casino mainly designed for locals and passers-by and is by no stretch of the imagination a destination property.
Belle of Baton Rouge
The Belle of Baton Rouge, to the surprise of nobody, is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and consists of 288 guestrooms as well as 28,500 square feet of gambling space. While the real estate is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties, it is operated by El Dorado Resorts.
This casino consists of roughly 850 total machines, of which 750 are slot machines. The remaining 100 are video keno, video poker or multi-game units consisting of both. There are fourteen gaming tables inclusive of Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and Midi-Baccarat. If there are any other less common games, the website for this casino is not concerned with listing them as of the time of this writing. Given the size of the casino, it would come as no surprise if these were the only four games. It should come as no surprise the property has no poker room.
The players club for this casino is the Trop Advantage players club, which is shared by a few of the Tropicana Casinos (but not Vegas’ Tropicana) as well as a few others. This all comes down to the convoluted relationships between who owns what casinos and operates them, who owns what other casinos and leases the operation out, to whom the operations are leased out (if they are at all) as well as some other factors. Gaming and Leisure Properties, the owners of the real estate, lease properties out to multiple operators and each likely comes with its own separate terms.
All three eateries are casual and include the buffet as well as a bar/restaurant called 102.
This property is really a, “Staycation,” sort of place for those local, nearby or passing through rather than a destination property.
Hollywood Baton Rouge
Formerly known as the Casino Rouge, this is another property that was acquired by Gaming and Leisure Properties and is operated by Penn National Gaming. This property does not have its own hotel, though there are several conveniently located nearby.
Despite the ownership/operator combo, it appears that this casino operates under a players club known as Premier Club rather than the MyChoice/Marquee Rewards that is typical for a Hollywood-branded casino. This could be for any number of reasons and we dare not hazard a guess as the relationship of all of these casinos to one another is often convoluted.
This property offers little information as to a machine count, other than to say they are, “Some of the newest and most exciting,” which we guess is as opposed to those casinos that advertise themselves as, “Oldest and most boring,” which said noone ever. The property features multiple table game options, but again, does not deign to put the exact count on the website. Table Games apparently include Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Three-Card Poker and Cajun Stud. Don’t be fooled by the website, it lists Blackjack side bets as if they were actually separate games, presumably just to make the list look longer and more inviting. There is no poker room.
The area known as, “Center Stage,” features live local/regional acts on various dates.
The property features three casual dining venues, one of which is the Epic Buffet, often the branding that Hollywood Casinos ascribe to their buffets. The other venues are a grill and a deli.
Clearly, this is mainly a casino for locals, passersby and anyone who happens to be staying in Baton Rouge as opposed to a destination unto itself. In terms of revenues amongst Louisiana Riverboats, this one is lower-middle of the pack and is most comparable to Boomtown Bossier.
L’Auberge Baton Rouge
The L’Auberge Baton Rouge is a little less than half of the scope of its Lake Charles counterpart in terms of size, revenue and offerings. With that, it is currently fifth in FY 2019 YTD (July 2018-February 2019) revenue with just shy of 94.5M in gross revenue in that eight-month period.
This property is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and is operated by Penn National Gaming. It features 74,000 square feet of gaming space as well as 205 rooms and suites in the hotel that includes a fitness center and rooftop pool.
The property has roughly 1,500 combined slot machines, video poker and video keno machines, fifty table games and a poker room consisting of poker tables offering Limit Texas Hold ‘Em, No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha Hi/Lo and Pot Limit Omaha in the poker room consisting of 1,500 square feet of space. Table Games include Baccarat, Blackjack, EZ Baccarat, Cajun Stud, Craps, Craps No More, Fortune Pai-Gow, Heads Up Hold ‘Em (semi-rare find), High Card Flush, Midi-Baccarat, Mississippi Stud, Roulette, Three-Card Poker and Turbo Football.
If the tables game list seems too good to be true for a property of this size, we agree and would add that these games are likely not ALL available around the clock. If you’re looking for a specific novelty game that is not a casino staple, we recommend calling ahead and inquiring as to the typical hours of operation.
There are four eating establishment in total, with the fine dining establishment being 18 Steak. Of the three casual dining establishments, one is the Bon Temps Buffet. Shows and events range from local acts to well-known national acts of the past in both comedy and music. Other nightlife includes Edge, which dubs itself as, “A Social Music Bar,” whatever that means.
This property is part of the MyChoice Players Club, which is shared amongst many Penn National Gaming Properties. However, these casinos all tend to market individually as relates direct offers.
Racetracks and Native American Casinos
With the land-based casino (Harrah’s New Orleans) as well as the Riverboat Casinos out of the way, we can now turn our attention to the four racetracks permitted to offer slot machines as the few Native American Casinos in the state.
In terms of slot revenue, Delta Downs, located in Vinton, is the biggest racetrack performer in the State of Louisiana and often brings in more slot revenue than the other three racetracks, combined. Despite being a racino, this property boasts a hotel consisting of 200 rooms and suites as well as 48,000 square feet of gaming space…that really puts it more on par with a small casino in size and scope.
This racetrack is owned by Boyd Gaming, and as such, the players club is part of the BConnected Rewards program. The property is also home to 1,600 total electronic gaming devices.
There are four eateries at the property, three of which are casual and the other upscale. The Rosewater Grill & Tavern is the fine dining venue, while the three casual restaurants include the Triple Crown Buffet.
Harrah’s Louisiana Downs
This property is on par with Fair Grounds as pulling in the least slot handle compared to the other three. This is another property owned by Vici Propeties, though it is operated by Caesars Entertainment. The 150,000 square feet of gaming space boasts 800 slot machines.
Live horse racing is conducted at the track throughout most of the year. Quarter horse racing takes place January-March and then thoroughbred racing from April through October. Simulcast wagering is also available. The property does not technically have its own hotel, but there is a Springhill Suites located on the racetrack’s grounds.
There are three casual dining venues, one of which is the buffet.
Evangeline Downs is located in Opelousas, Louisiana and is owned and operated by Boyd Gaming. As a result, it is affiliated with the BConnected Players Club program.
This may be one of the few racetracks in the country in which the track itself moved! It started out in LaFayette Parish, where it existed for several decades. In 1992, they installed video poker machines, unfortunately, LaFayette Parish voters would vote to have such outlawed in the jurisdiction as of 1996. As a result, the racetrack simply moved to St. Landry Parish.
All told, the property changed hands a few times before Boyd Gaming eventually bought it. It is generally second of the four racetracks (with slots) in terms of gross slot revenues. There are four casual dining venues, inclusive of the buffet.
Properly stylized as Fair Grounds Race Course and located in New Orleans, the property is owned by Churchill Downs Inc. and operated by Churchill Downs Louisiana Horseracing Company Inc. (same thing, for all practical purposes).
In addition to the physical property of Fair Grounds, the property also operates over a dozen off-track simulcast betting parlors located elsewhere in the state. Back on property, they boast over 600 slot machines and are comparable to Harrah’s Racetrack in revenue. The players club is known as Twin Spires slot rewards.
The property boasts one semi-upscale dining establishment as well as three casual establishments…depending on whether or not you want to include the concessions as a dining venue.
Native American Casinos
With that, we come to the Native American Casinos who do not appear to be compelled to report their revenues to the State of Louisiana. Thus, it would be difficult to put them in any order that way as it would be guesswork.
Coushatta Casino Resort
The Coushatta Casino Resort is located on the Coushatta Reservation and features the adult-exclusive (21+) Grand Hotel. Those with children travelling need not fear as there are a number of other hotels listed on the casino’s website, which are also located on the reservation, but Grand Hotel is the one with direct casino access.
The property boasts over 1,600 total gaming machines inclusive of slots and video poker. Additionally, a number of table games are offered including Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Mini-Baccarat, Bonus Let It Ride, Pai-Gow Poker, Mississippi Stud, Flop Poker, Three-Card Poker and Four-Card Poker. As anywhere, if looking for a novelty game, we recommend calling ahead to determine when the non-staples generally operate. Additionally, there is a poker room that hosts Texas Hold ‘Em as well as Omaha, though the website does not seem to state the number of tables.
Simulcast Wagering is available in the Oyster and Sports Bar and this is one of the few casinos in the state in which live bingo can be found. This property refers to its Players Club as the Advantage Club.
The property features ten casual dining establishments (including the buffet) as well as the Big Sky Steakhouse. In terms of golf and other amenities, we simply refer you to the website.
Because it is tough to differentiate what is or is not located in the casino or Grand Hotel.
Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel
Located in Charenton, Louisiana, this casino is owned by the Chitimacha Tribe. There is a hotel (as the name would imply) featuring a combined 102 rooms and suites.
The website boasts in excess of a thousand slot machines as well as 35 gaming tables inclusive of Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Three Card Poker, Four Card Poker, and Pai Gow Poker. Given the somewhat limited size of the property, we do recommend calling ahead of time and checking the general hours of operation for any specific game aside from blackjack. As of January 11, 2019, this casino also offers live Texas Hold ‘Em. The casino offers live bingo and has a four-tier players club system known as Club Cypress.
In terms of dining, there is a steakhouse, a Mexican grill/cafe and a place called Mabel’s that mainly serves food typical to the area. BoCat’s Lounge offers free local entertainment during select days and hours. Additionally, Rox is a hip nightclub offering entertainment and the property is home to a 2,000+ seat concert venue known as The Pavillion.
Jena Choctaw Pines Casino
Jena Choctaw Pines Casino is a Native American Casino owned by the Jena Choctaw and located in Dry Prong, Louisiana. The casino itself does not appear to house a hotel, but there are a number of hotels located in nearby Alexandria. The property features roughly 700 slot machines as well as a poker room that deals Texas Hold ‘Em.
Dining consists of a sports bar as well as a buffet. The players club is known as the Arrow Head Players Club.
Paragon Casino Resort
The last Native American Casino is the Paragon Casino Resort located in Marksville, Louisiana. This large property is home to 500 hotel rooms and suites as well as an RV Park, which puts the scope on par with several of the riverboat casinos throughout the state.
This casino is home to over 1,000 combined slots, video poker and video keno machines. As of the time of this writing, the website boasts $5 minimum games on its Craps, Blackjack and Roulette Tables seven days a week and around the clock. Additionally, the property features Three-Card Poker, Pai-Gow Poker and Mississippi Stud. There is a unique Blackjack-based game called Three-Card Blackjack. As always, we recommend calling ahead to see what times these novelty games generally operate. The poker room spreads Texas Hold ‘Em exclusively.
The property features a spa, indoor pool, two outdoor pools, a playground (nice!), a cinema, an atrium, alligator show and a place called Kids Quest. Essentially, this makes the resort a potential destination for the entire family. This property is also home to a buffet, a steakhouse and six other casual eateries.
Louisiana residents can participate in the state-run lottery and buy tickets for the multiple state drawings for Mega Millions and Powerball.
Slot Machine Ownership
Residents of Louisiana may legally own antique slot machines. The state designates an antique slot machine as one that is at least 25 years old. This law lets collectors own machines but restricts ownership of any modern machine. Antique slot machines may not be used for any form of gambling and are for display purposes only.
Conclusion And Prognosis
Louisiana has been a state with pretty liberal laws relating to legalized and regulated forms of gambling for a few decades now, so for that reason, we expect this trend to include regulated online gambling and/or sports betting within the next year or two. Quite frankly, we find ourselves surprised that the state has not already pushed through legislation to legalize these two forms of gambling yet. Generally speaking, Louisiana is right there with other states in terms of its offerings.
In addition to all of the locations specifically mentioned, the state is also home to 1,714 locations (as of the time of this writing) which offer a combined 12,998 video poker machines. Again, this is similar to states such as West Virginia, Illinois and Montana and just goes to show that the state is generally perfectly satisfied to legalize anything gambling-related as long as it’s going to bring in revenue. Other forms of gambling cannot be far behind.
- Louisiana State Police: Gaming Enforcement Division
- Wikipedia: List of Casinos in Louisiana