Caesars Invests $325m in Harrah’s New Orleans Casino Revamp

Property will reopen as Caesars New Orleans when the project reaches completion in 2024
Caesars recently renewed its operating contract of the sole New Orleans casino until 2054
Harrah’s New Orleans had to close in mid-March in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic
Caesars also entered major deals with Eldorado Resorts and William Hill in 2020

facade of Harrah's New Orleans Casino and Hotel in Louisiana

Harrah’s New Orleans will undergo a major transformation as the casino property rebrands to Caesars New Orleans in a $325m renovation project. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Rebranding to Caesars New Orleans

The parent company of Harrah’s New Orleans, Caesars Entertainment Inc., has announced plans to transform the Louisiana casino property into the Caesars New Orleans. The casino resort giant said it is investing $325m in the construction and renovation project, which should near completion in 2024.

On Tuesday, Caesars released renderings of the proposed revamp on Twitter:

It also presented its plans to the New Orleans Building Corporation on the same day. As part of the “new flagship resort”, a vacant second-floor area in the casino will undergo further development. The large-scale renovation also includes the addition of a 340-room hotel tower, new hospitality and culinary options at the casino, plus indoor and outdoor design and architectural improvements.  

Reactions to the news

Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg spoke about the company’s excitement in introducing the Caesars brand to the city. He said: “We take great pride in our 20-year history in New Orleans, and this ree sport bet is a testament to our continued commitment.”

600 construction jobs, with another 500 new positions created after the transformation

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell noted how the project will contribute to the city’s economic recovery, providing more work opportunities along with entertainment for locals and visitors. The renovation process expects to give rise to 600 construction jobs, with another 500 new positions created after the transformation. 

The Louisiana casino property

In June 2019, Caesars Entertainment extended its operating contract for the Harrah’s New Orleans casino property, enabling the entertainment company to continue running its gaming operations until 2054. The downtown casino has been open since October 1999 and is the only land-based casino in the city.

Currently, the gaming floor of the facility surpasses 115,000 square feet and houses more than 1,400 slot machines and 130 table games. There is also a poker room that accommodates 20 tables. 

The property closed temporarily in mid-March, following the outbreak of COVID-19. Extensive health and safety protocols along with lower capacities were in place upon its reopening on June 13. The casino is also facing a potential payout of up to $50m after losing a tax case in Louisiana. The state’s Department of Revenue claims that Harrah’s New Orleans owes hotel room-related back taxes.

Casino giant making moves

Besides announcing the New Orleans casino transformation, Caesars has been busy making moves elsewhere. It completed its $17.3bn merger with Eldorado Resorts in July, resulting in a combined entity that prides itself on being the largest casino and entertainment group in the United States.

completed its $17.3bn merger with Eldorado Resorts in July

To get regulatory approval for the merger in some states, Caesars agreed to the sale of some of its properties, including the Horseshoe Hammond Casino. In light of the impact of the pandemic, the Indiana Gaming Commission recently gave the company another year to divest itself of the facility. Last week, Caesars also announced the sale of the Belle of Baton Rouge riverboat hotel-casino in Louisiana.

The casino giant had its £2.9bn ($3.9bn) offer to purchase UK-based gambling operator William Hill accepted in September. Caesars reportedly intends to sell off the company’s non-US assets, with plans to close the acquisition deal in 2021.

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