Hollywood riverboat casino on the Mississippi River is finally finding a new home, this time on the land. A groundbreaking ceremony has already taken place to move the riverboat casino inland.
The move has been acclaimed by Ronnie Johns, Louisiana Chairman of the state Gaming and Control Board, who termed it’s as the right thing for the state to do.
“This is the right thing to do. It’ll benefit the state of Louisiana as far as increased revenue from the tax base.”
Johns, a former republic state senator, was recently appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to chair the nine-member control board.
Louisiana has 13 riverboat casinos, one land-based casino, and four racinos. Hollywood riverboat casino is one of the three casinos in Louisiana situated in a city, Baton Rouge. The other two are a city with a riverboat casino are L’Auberge Baton Rouge and Belle of Baton Rouge.
The Hollywood land-based casino is expected to cost $60 million and will also include a sportsbook. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2022.
Apart from the gaming space, Hollywood’s marketing vice president indicated that they are planning on building a large sports bar and a Big Chicken Restaurant.
Louisiana first authorized riverboats in the early 1990s. At that time, gambling was only permitted when casinos moved away from the port.
However, that changed in 2001 when riverboats casinos were allowed to remain docked. Further adjustments came in 2018 when riverboats were scrapped in favor of land-based casinos.
Other riverboats casinos in Louisiana are moving to land include the Isle of Capri and Treasure Chest riverboat casino.