Baton Rouge gambling market sees increased revenue in December _lowres

L'Auberge's casino is reopening May 18 in Baton Rouge under capacity restrictions as part of the state's Phase 1 reopening of many businesses.  

The L’Auberge Baton Rouge casino and Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge plan to open May 18.

Attempts to contact the Belle of Baton Rouge and parent company Eldorado Resorts to determine when that casino will open were unsuccessful.

Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge said it plans to open at noon Monday. Half of the slot machines and table games will be closed, along with the casino buffet. However, Aaron Mollura, the casino’s vice president of marketing, said the deli will be open for takeout meals. Plans are in the works to reopen the buffet.

L'Auberge is reopening at 8 a.m. Monday. However, live music, entertainment, hotel, convention and banquet services will remain closed, said Kim Ginn, vice president and general manager at L’Auberge.

Casinos and other nonessential business have been closed since mid-March to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

For social distancing, the casino's customer capacity will be limited to no more than 25%, with only 50% of gaming positions open.

Table game seating will be limited, and every other slot machine will be disabled, L'Auberge said. Floor decals and signs will be placed in areas where lines typically form to enforce social-distancing guidelines.

Restaurant offerings will be limited to prepackaged sandwiches, drinks, and snacks from PJ’s Coffee Shop and for VIP guests at Club 38. Otherwise, restaurants and bars will remain closed at L'Auberge, as well as the poker room, hotel and valet service.

There will be no large drawings, tournaments or special events.

Employees will be required to wear masks and will undergo a health screening each day before their shift, including temperature checks. Customers and vendors will be required to have their temperature checked before entering the property and will be encouraged to wear masks.

Slot machines and table games will be regularly cleaned and sanitizer stations installed on the casino floor and throughout the facility. A fog machine will be used disinfect and sanitize the property every night, L'Auberge said.

One Louisiana casino has already said it won’t be reopening. DiamondJacks said it is permanently closing is Bossier City property. “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,” said Diana Thornton, vice president of finance, in a statement.

DiamondJacks had been the worst-performing casino in the Shreveport-Bossier market. In February, the casino posted revenue of $3.3 million. In contrast, Horseshoe, the top-performing casino in the market brought in $16.1 million and Margaritaville had revenue of $13.8 million.

In 2016 Peninsula Pacific bought DiamondJacks following a bankruptcy under the previous owner. Peninsula Pacific initially sought to move the boat to Slidell but couldn't find a willing seller of land at its preferred site. In 2018, the company attempted to move the boat to Tangipahoa Parish, just south of Interstate 12 in the Robert/Bedico area. That measure was defeated in the Legislature.