DiamondJacks will likely not reopen until as early as 2024

*NOTE: This is a stock photo.
*NOTE: This is a stock photo.(Pixabay)
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 1:56 PM CDT
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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - Louisiana gaming revenue has dipped, working to recover from the pandemic’s hit to the gaming industry.

Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns says the closing of DiamondJacks, the smoking ban, competition from Oklahoma casinos, and the current economy are all playing a role in the dip in revenue.

“We feel good about where we are overall,” Johns said in a one-on-one interview KSLA conducted Wednesday, Oct. 5.

In 2020, the riverboat revenue in the Shreveport-Bossier market ended the year with $425,885,055, dropping from more than $633 million due to the closures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While gaming revenue did recover somewhat in 2021, so far, 2022′s numbers are still lower than last year.

Riverboat revenue in the Shreveport-Bossier market from January to August is still more than $38 million lower in 2022 compared to 2018 during the same time period.

On the flip side, Johns says mobile sports betting and football are helping to boost revenue.

KSLA asked if the closure of DiamondJacks has affected revenue.

“The loss of DiamondJacks is absolutely affecting the market some,” Johns said.

However, Johns says he’s hoping to get DiamondJacks on the agenda for the gaming board’s December meeting.

“The goal at that time would be to okay the transfer of the property from DiamondJacks to a company called Foundation Gaming,” he said.

Johns says the new company is currently going through suitability checks with the Attorney General’s Office and Louisiana State Police. If the transfer is approved at the December meeting, Johns says the earliest the casino could reopen would likely be mid-2024.