Louisiana’s Treasure Chest Near New Orleans Ready to Open Land-Based Casino

Posted on: May 29, 2024, 03:54h. 

Last updated on: May 29, 2024, 09:48h.

The Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner, La., will soon jump ship from its longtime riverboat for a new brick-and-mortar property just inland from the Lake Pontchartrain shore.

Treasure Chest Casino Louisiana
A rendering of the new Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner, Louisiana near New Orleans. The brick-and-mortar casino will open on June 8, 2024. (Image: Treasure Chest Casino)

Boyd Gaming has owned and operated the New Orleans area riverboat since its inception in 1994.

The Las Vegas-based gaming operator that specializes in regional casino operations announced in early 2022 a roughly $100 million investment to bring the riverboat gaming ashore with a new land-based facility. That project is complete and the all-new Treasure Chest will soon welcome its first guests.

The riverboat casino will shutter at 11:59 p.m. CDT on Saturday, June 1.

The new Treasure Chest will open at 8 a.m. on Thursday, June 8. The brick-and-mortar facility is located at the end of Williams Blvd. about 1,000 feet from where the riverboat is docked. 

Land-Based Casinos

The forthcoming Treasure Chest will offer 47,000 square feet of gaming — nearly double the 24,000-square-foot space currently offered on the boat — with more than 900 slot machines and two dozen live dealer table games. A FanDuel Sportsbook is also opening next month.

The brick-and-mortar casino will feel more like a Las Vegas resort, as several restaurants, including a sports bar and grill and a fine dining steakhouse, are included in the project. The Treasure Chest also hopes to become a destination for meetings and events with 10,000 square feet of customizable space.

The Treasure Chest will become the fourth land-based casino in Louisiana to open after state lawmakers amended the Bayou State’s gaming regulations in 2018. The amendment allows licensed riverboats to invest in brick-and-mortar developments so long as the new casinos remain within 1,200 feet of their original barges.

The legislative change came after multiple hurricanes greatly damaged or destroyed several casino boats. Louisiana’s other land-based casinos include Harrah’s New Orleans, Horseshoe Lake Charles, and The Queen Baton Rouge. Another brick-and-mortar casino is in the works in Bossier City.

“Conveniently located in a new spacious landside facility offering familiar Boyd Style hospitality and service, the new single-level casino floor will feature the latest and greatest slots and table games, four unique dining areas, a dynamic sportsbook, optimized entertainment, and meeting space, all surrounded by state-of-the-art technology for the ultimate guest experience,” a release from Boyd Gaming read.

Local Competition 

While Harrah’s New Orleans primarily caters to visitors to the Big Easy, the Treasure Chest is more focused on locals. Boyd Gaming’s investment in the property came after voters in nearby St. Tammany Parish struck down a local ballot referendum in 2021 for a possible casino in Slidell.

During the 2023 fiscal year — July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023 — Treasure Chest won $86.1 million from gamblers. That was down over 11% from the $97.2 million that the boat won in 2022.

The boat’s operations never recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

In 2019, Treasure Chest gaming revenue totaled $108.3 million. Fewer people are visiting the boat, as the admission count in 2019 totaled 969,744, while entries in 2023 totaled 556,824 — a guest reduction of almost 43%.