Small Louisiana casino announces permanent closure as state plans to reopen Monday

Small Louisiana casino announces permanent closure as state plans to reopen Monday

  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
May 15, 2020 8:00 PM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Other

Operators of the Diamondjacks Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana said Friday the property would not reopen on Monday and remain permanently closed after being shut down for nearly two months along with all gaming in the state due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The news comes as Louisiana prepares to restart its casino industry on Monday under various limitations.

Diamondjacks, which is privately-owned with a 30,000-square-foot casino and 400-room hotel, competed in a market that includes larger casinos operated by regional gaming giants Eldorado Resorts, Penn National Gaming, and Boyd Gaming Corp.

“In light of the sudden, unforeseeable market conditions that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, the difficult decision has been made to close the casino,” Diana Thornton, Diamondjacks’ vice president of finance, said in a statement.

“We have worked diligently to be a valued member of the Shreveport-Bossier City business community. We are saddened for the loss of a longtime business here in Louisiana,” she added.

In Louisiana’s most recent gaming revenue report, the Diamondjacks had the smallest casino revenue totals in the northwest Louisiana market – a combined $5 million in February and March.

The much larger Margaritaville Bossier City, which is operated by Penn, and Horseshoe Bossier City, which is operated by Caesars, were the dominant properties in the region. Horseshoe had a combined $22.4 million in gaming revenues in February and March while Margaritaville had $20.2 million over the same two months.

“Even though continuing to operate is not viable from a business standpoint, we have certainly enjoyed being a part of the community and appreciate the loyalty of both guests and team members,” Thornton said. “We are thankful for the support everyone has provided us and will do what we can to ensure those impacted (can) transition to new career opportunities.”

In a statement, Diamondjacks said its managers were working on a closure plan, which includes included employees, vendors, and other key stakeholders.

The management team will decide what to do with the casino’s physical assets. The property will be maintained as the closure is completed, though there are no plans for new ownership or additional investments to remain open.

Diamondjacks had more than 800 slot machines and a variety of table games, as well as four restaurants, 22,000 square feet of meeting space, a 1,200-seat entertainment venue, and a 32-space RV park.

The casino operated on a 1,650-passenger paddle wheeler along the Red River.

Casinos in Louisiana will reopen Monday with 50% of their games, including slot machines and table games. As with other businesses reopening, just 25% of the facility’s capacity will be allowed inside.

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.