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Executives with Eldorado Resorts, the new parent company of the Belle of Baton Rouge, aren’t interested in following up on the previous owner’s plans to expand the riverboat casino onto land and upgrade its downtown hotel and facility. 8 conference call with investors, an analyst with Sun Trust asks Eldorado Chairman and CEO Gary Carano whether the company has “any updated thoughts on moving any of your Louisiana riverboats to land?
”Carano replies: “So, I would say it’s highly unlikely we will do anything in Baton Rouge based on our early analysis there,” according to a transcript of the call.
“In Lake Charles, you should expect us to look to move forward there …
We’re in the early stages in terms of design and what we would do and discussions with the state as to our plans and their approval of them.”In October, Eldorado Resorts acquired Tropicana, whose holdings included the Belle of Baton Rouge and the Isle of Capri in Lake Charles.
Eldorado executives did not respond to a request for comment in time for this afternoon’s publication.
Last summer, the Legislature approved a measure that will allow riverboat casinos to move on land within 1,200 feet of their existing location, provided they make an economic development justification for the move to stay regulators.
Executives with Tropicana had previously indicated they would be interested in such a move should it become legal.
Ronnie Jones, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming and Control Board, was made aware of Carano’s comments earlier this week by a third party and says he is disappointed, particularly because no one from Eldorado notified him about the company’s decision.“I was surprised that I had to hear about it secondhand,” he says. I believed that was one of the prime properties that would take advantage of the new law …