Cordish to Break Ground on $270M Live! Casino Hotel Louisiana in Bossier City

Posted on: November 30, 2023, 12:39h. 

Last updated on: November 30, 2023, 07:41h.

The Cordish Companies will break ground on Live! Casino & Hotel Louisiana on December 13 at 11:00 a.m. local time.

Cordish Live! Casino Louisiana Bossier City
A rendering of Live! Casino & Hotel Louisiana, as presented by The Cordish Companies. The company is redeveloping the former DiamondJacks hotel and replacing the riverboat with a new land-based casino. (Image: The Cordish Companies)

Cordish is embarking on its third commercial gaming state by way of Louisiana. Officials with the Live! casino operator says they’ll spend $270 million to redevelop the former DiamondJacks Casino Resort in Bossier City, which it acquired from Foundation Gaming earlier this fall.

Cordish’s $270 million investment is in addition to the undisclosed acquisition price of DiamondJacks and its gaming license.

Cordish plans to build a new land-based casino and redevelop the property’s 500-room on-site hotel. The project additionally includes 25,000 square feet of customizable event space and numerous dining and drinking establishments.

Cordish tells that Live! Casino & Hotel Louisiana is projected to generate more than $35 million in gaming taxes for the City of Bossier and over $168 million in gaming taxes for the state within its initial five years in business. The resort is forecasted to employ 750 permanent positions and provide contract opportunities for local, minority, women- and veteran-owned businesses.

Cordish Chairman David Cordish and Rob Norton, president of Cordish’s Gaming Group and Live! Casinos, will be on hand December 13 for the groundbreaking ceremony. The company plans to open its Louisiana resort destination in early 2025.

First Land-Based Casino in Market

In 2018, Louisiana lawmakers amended the state’s gaming law to allow riverboats to move inland so long as they remain within 1,200 feet of their original barges. The casino amendment came after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and several other powerful hurricanes and tropical storms did much damage to riverboats, with some vessels even being picked up and slammed ashore by the weather events.

Before the 2018 change, Harrah’s New Orleans was the lone land-based casino in Louisiana. The redeveloped Queen of Baton Rouge opened as the second land-based casino earlier this year following a $200 million overhaul.

Cordish is set to bring the first brick-and-mortar casino to the Shreveport/Bossier City market. Live! Casino & Hotel Louisiana will be built directly off US Highway 71 and Interstate 20, approximately 20 miles from the Texas border and 40 miles from the Arkansas border.

Cordish’s gaming portfolio is currently headlined by Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland in Anne Arundel County near Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Cordish also manages Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia in the city’s Stadium District, and a so-called “mini-casino” in the Pittsburgh suburbs of Westmoreland called Live! Casino Pittsburgh.

DiamondJacks Saga

DiamondJacks closed in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then-owner Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) decided to permanently shutter the aging riverboat in favor of relocating the Louisiana gaming concession to a more attractive market.

P2E pitched the residents of St. Tammany Parish with a $325 million casino resort in Slidell, but voters there rejected the project during a December 2021 local referendum. P2E subsequently decided to sell DiamondJacks to Foundation, a Mississippi gaming firm, which in turn, sold it to Cordish.