Harrah's is planning a celebration to mark the occasion, and for good reason. There are many within Louisiana that believed that the Harrah's project had no chance of survival when it began. At times, it appeared that these naysayers would be correct. The casino has been through bankruptcy procedures and had to deal with the effects of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Through it all, however, the casino has endured.
"I think it's been a tremendous transformation," said Gary Loveman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harrah's Entertainment, "Surely the casino has gone from a very controversial project in the middle of the city to something I think that now is part of the identity of the city."
There is casino expansion taking place all across the US and many of these projects are being met with the same resistance that Harrah's had to deal with. Opponents of casino gambling have been out in full force to oppose the expansion in states across the country.
With every success story such as Harrah's New Orleans, there comes a sense of confidence for developers who are laying out big money in the US for these expansion projects. Casino gambling is being used by lawmakers to bridge gaps in state budgets.
Harrah's meanwhile, will celebrate this week with some of those people who did not want the casino in their neighborhood. It will serve as a friendly reminder of how even in opposition, people can find common ground.