Hollywood Casino and Shaq’s Big Chicken Move to Hit Land

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Louisiana Hollywood Casino moves to a land-based facility in Baton Rouge, expected to have tremendous success in town.

Hollywood Casino Is the First in Baton Rouge to Move to Land

The Hollywood Casino will be the first in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to take the opportunity to move its operation from a riverboat onto land. Once everything is in place, there will be a big sports bar and entertainment facility with seating for 250 people, sports viewing area and Shaquille O’Neal’s restaurant “Big Chicken.” The bar or the viewing area could become a sportsbook in the future, once Louisiana launches its market. He said that guests would like to see a celebrity walk around the facility. The boat will be sold to Viking River Cruises, which is supposed to launch on the Mississippi River by September 2022, according to East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.

The chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, Ronnie Johns, feels that this is the right thing to do. According to him, it will help Baton Rouge tremendously and benefit the state by increasing tax revenue from its tax base. He adds that it would also bring more employment and the board is excited for the future of Baton Rouge.

Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. CEO and chairman Peter Carlino feels the same way and asserts, “This will have a profound impact on the success of this business. We think this is the most convenient location in town.”

Hollywood Casino Project Will Provide New Jobs

The new project could bring hundreds of new job openings available for people who build the facility and casino staff once the renovation is complete. Currently, the casino has 300 staff members, expecting that number to rise to 500 and an additional 160 for the construction.

The project has a starting budget of $60 million and will feature slots, sports wagering and include new restaurants. By late 2022, the parking lot next to Hollywood Casino will look completely different, becoming an indoor space.

Casino Queen Is Buying Land and Mooring Permanently

Since the law limiting casinos to riverboats changed in 2018, it has taken three years to prepare for the gaming operations to move from the boat to the land-based property. However, making the transition is a safe move, according to Johns. He adds that there were a lot of safety factors regarding the riverboats Hollywood and Belle out on the Mississippi River.

Hollywood is the second project going to land after the Isle of Capri in Lake Charles started working on its land-based facility. Johns said that the Isle of Capri is ahead of the game, but Hollywood could be the first in the state to take advantage of the law and it will be the first in Baton Rouge to come off the water.

Casino Queen is also in the process of buying land for $28.2 million and expects to close the deal by the end of this year. There is also a discussion about changing the name of the casino.

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