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Caesars sells Harrah's Louisiana Downs for $22M, focuses on sports betting

Harrah's Louisiana Downs Casino, Racing & Entertainment
2021-11-02
United States
Reading time 2:23 min
The proceeds of the completed transaction to Rubico Gaming were split $5.5 to Vici and $16.5 to Caesars. All Caesars' employees working at Louisiana Downs will transfer to the new ownership. In the coming days, the property will start making the first changes, with the signage as its first goal. Rubico is currently in the process of applying for a sportsbook license for the Louisiana Downs.

Caesars Entertainment and Vici Properties announced Tuesday the completion of the previously disclosed transaction to sell Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino, Racing & Entertainment to Rubico Acquisition Corp for $22 million. 

The proceeds of the transaction were split $5.5 million to VICI and $16.5 million to Caesars, subject to customary adjustments for cash and net working capital. The annual base rent payments under the Regional Master Lease between Caesars and VICI will remain unchanged.

As reported by Bossier Press-Tribune, Kevin Preston, President of Rubico Acquisition Corporation, spoke about the purchase and said: “A new era for Louisiana Downs begins today. Our team will begin restoring this iconic facility to its former glory. We know it has a lot of untapped potential and we are ready to make this a family-oriented destination once again”. 

Under the new agreement, Caesars Entertainment employees working at Louisiana Downs will transfer to the new ownership. “We are excited to welcome new members to our team” Preston said. “They are our brand ambassadors, greeting and serving our guests with exceptional service. Their experience at Louisiana Downs is immeasurable and will help elevate it to a new level of fun and service for our guests”. 

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs boasts approximately 1,300 gaming machines, table games, thousands of square feet of convention space and a racetrack that first debuted in 1974. In the coming days, the property will kickstart the first changes, starting with the new Louisiana Downs signage around the property. 

The casino will continue to honor the Caesar’s Rewards program until it implements its own in early 2022.

The transfer will not affect Louisiana Down’s horseracing schedule, which begins on January 10, with Quarter Horse racing. Louisiana Downs will be the only gaming facility in northwest Louisiana to offer newly approved historical horse racing machines. The machines are similar to slot machines, but they use results from past horse races instead of a random number generator to choose the outcome of the spin. 

The state legislature approved the use of the machines at Off-Track Betting Parlors (OTB) earlier this year. Rubico also plans to add additional food and beverage outlets for guests.

Rubico is currently in the process of applying for a sportsbook license for Louisiana Downs. The state has a January 1, 2022 deadline for applications. 

Earlier this week, Caesars commenced on-property sports betting in Louisiana, both in Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel & Casino. The two properties held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in celebration of their first bets placed in their sportsbooks. 

Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert placed the first bet on Sunday at Harrah’s New Orleans on his old team to cover the 4.5-point spread against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At the same time, Mayor Tommy Chandler cut the ribbon to get wagering underway in Bossier City. Lines of sports fans eager to get in on the action built at both sportsbooks, led in Bossier City by a guest betting $55,000 on the Detroit Lions to cover +3.5 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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