The Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) has finally given its approval for the sale of the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs property to Rubico Acquisition Corporation. According to emerging media reports, the $22 million sale of the 280-acre gaming property has been approved by the gaming regulator of Louisiana.
However, the deal for the Bossier City casino & horseracing venue is still waiting for final consent from the Louisiana Racing Commission. A source claiming direct knowledge of matter revealed that the required final consent from the state’s Racing Commission could come as soon as coming Tuesday.
The sale of the Bossier City casino & horseracing venue was first agreed in September 2020. The arrangement was to see current owner Vici Properties Inc. receiving $16.5 million in compensation. Caesars Entertainment Inc., the operator of the development’s 12,000 square feet casino, was to receive additional $5.5 million in cash with its existing rental contract to remain unchanged. In total, the value of the transaction soars to $22 million.
LGCB Chairman Ronnie Johns told reporters that the sale of the gaming property in question was critical to help it secure its future. He reportedly also revealed that Rubico Acquisition Corp. would be compelled to keep the venue’s casino as well as horseracing service open so as to sustain full-time jobs as well as a valuable source of tax revenue for the local government.
Speaking on the topic, Johns declared, “I really believe if this sale didn’t go through, Caesars Entertainment Inc. would ultimately close the facility as the company just isn’t interested in operating a horse racetrack. Rubico Acquisition Corp. is committed to upgrades and investments and marketing that I believe can elevate the property.”
According to available information, Rubico Acquisition Corp.’s proposed investments include the plan to build an RV park at the struggling venue. Emerging reports also claim that Rubico Acquisition Corp. could close the acquisition within a couple of weeks after obtaining final approval from the Louisiana Racing Commission.
Built by shopping center developer Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. and opened more than four decades ago in 1974, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs property was acquired by Harrah's Entertainment in 2002. In October 2017, its ownership was transferred to Vici Properties as part of a corporate spin-off. Currently offers a mile-long turf horseracing track, a large casino equipped with nearly 1,300 slot machines.