DiamondJacks Casino in Bossier City, La. appears to be on course to be sold as regulatory deadline to reopen the venue nears.
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) recently extended to owner Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) 60 days to reopen the gaming venue or sell it and it looks like the operator is opting for the latter choice. P2E permanently closed DiamondJacks during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, but later lobbied to move its gaming license to Slidell from Bossier City.
P2E recently filed regulatory documents with LGCB to sell DiamondJacks to Mississippi-based Foundation Gaming — a regional casino operator.
Collectively, we have reviewed in excess of 400 opportunities, including greenfield developments and transactions involving existing properties. We have developed a sound process that takes a 360 degree look at each opportunity, from both the near-term and long-term perspectives, guiding us to select which opportunities to pursue,” according to Foundation.
Foundation currently operates the Fitz Casino and Hotel and the WaterView Casino and Hotel in its home state. Neither Foundation nor P23 confirm a possible transaction involving DiamondJacks on their corporate websites.
Foundation Bossier Bet
While it was believed a casino in St. Tammany Parish would have provide modest benefit to the local economy, voters there rejected that effort, meaning Foundation will have to maintain DiamondJacks’ Bossier City footprint.
It’s also clear that there’s fierce competition in Bossier City from the likes of Caesars Entertainment’s Horseshoe, Penn National Gaming’s Boomtown and Margaritaville, among others.
Additionally, assuming Foundation is approved to acquire DiamondJacks, the new owner will likely have to sink some cash into the venue because it’s worn down relative to competitors in the market. Since it’s been closed, DiamondJacks has also become a crime hub, underscoring the LGCB’s frustration with P2E dragging its heels on selling the property.
The Gaming Division of State Police and the Attorney General’s Gaming Division have to evaluate Foundation’s financial position and ability to operate DiamondJacks, indicating it could be some time before the venue reopens.
LGCB meets today and that could start the process of moving the casino into Foundation’s hands.
P2E Still In Gaming Business
While it’s out of Louisiana, for now at least, P2E still has a foothold in the gaming industry as it controls several regional casinos across the country.
The company runs the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City, Iowa, Colonial Downs Racetrack in Virginia, del Lago Resort & Casino in upstate New York and five Rosie’s Gaming Emporium locations in Virginia.
P2E is privately held, but Standard & Poor’s estimates it generated $50 million of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the third quarter of 2021 — a pace the ratings agency forecasts the operator will maintain this year.
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