Caesars Sells Belle Of Baton Rouge

Caesars Entertainment will sell the operations of the Belle of Baton Rouge (l.) in Louisiana, leaving it with three casinos in that state. The new owner will be the privately held CQ Holding Company, operators of DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Illinois and Casino Queen Marquette in Iowa. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Caesars Entertainment recently announced it will sell for an undisclosed amount the operations of the Belle of Baton Rouge riverboat casino in Louisiana to CQ Holding Company, a privately held company that operates DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Illinois and Casino Queen Marquette in Iowa. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2021.

Since the $17.3 billion acquisition of Caesars by Eldorado Resorts in July, the new company has sold and plans to sell select venues in various markets, primarily to comply with Federal Trade Commission and state gaming regulators competition issues.

Caesars has pending deals to sell Eldorado Shreveport plus operations of MontBleu Resort Casino in Lake Tahoe to Bally’s Corporation for a total of $155 million. It also will sell Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack in Bossier City to Rubico Acquisition Corporation for $22 million. When these three deals close, Caesars still will operate Harrah’s New Orleans, Horseshoe Bossier City and Isle of Capri Lake Charles.

In October, Caesars announced it would sell the Tropicana Evansville in Indiana to real estate investment trust Gaming and Leisure Properties and Bally’s for $480 million. In accordance with Indiana gaming regulatory requirements, the company agreed to sell three of its five casinos in the state.

Docked on the Mississippi River, Belle of Baton Rouge casino offers 750 slots and 14 table games. It’s part of an entertainment complex that includes a 250-room hotel, restaurants and meeting space near the historic USS Kidd, between LSU and Southern University.

The Belle of Baton Rouge riverboat is owned by GLPI, which will retain ownership of the location.

Caesars Chief Economic Officer Thomas Reeg said, “Everything is for sale every day. We are economic animals. We’re always happy to be wowed by an offer.” He added, “I want to thank all of our Baton Rouge team members for their hard work and dedication, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. We wish them the best under Casino Queen’s ownership.”