SHREVEPORT/BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) — At least three Shreveport-Bossier City casinos are expected to reopen Monday.
Horseshoe Casino & Hotel in Bossier City has confirmed it will.
“We are pleased to announce that we will be opening our doors with limited offerings on Monday, May 18,” says a post on Margaritaville’s Facebook page. It does not clarify what is meant by “limited offerings.”
The racino at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs racetrack in Bossier City also will open Monday.
But the casinos have some concerns.
They can only operate at 25% percent capacity but still have a lot of costs.
When it comes to the racino and six riverboat casinos in the Shreveport-Bossier City market, there are lots of questions about which ones will reopen right away Monday.
“If the conditions are so strict and the capacity is very low that it might, they might actually lose money, less money by staying closed rather than opening with a reduced capacity,” said Ronnie Jones, the Gaming Control Board chairman.
Overhead is high for casinos because of state requirements for security, surveillance, supervisors on the floor, compliance officers and now enhanced safety protocols due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“I anticipate we’ll get off to a really slow start at the beginning of the week,” Jones said. “But I think as we proceed over the next 14 days, more properties will come back online.”
There are licenses for 15 riverboats and a land-based along with four slot facilities at racetracks in Louisiana, making for a grand total of 20 casinos.
Of those, Jones expects the newer, larger resort-type properties likely will reopen Monday.
Those include Margaritaville in Bossier City.
He also strongly suspects Horseshoe and El Dorado casinos will reopen Monday.
As for Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino in Shreveport, KSLA News 12 heard back from David Strow, the corporate spokesman for Boyd Gaming Corp., which owns that casino.
He said they are “... still working with state officials to finalize reopening requirements and protocols.”
So to recap, Horseshoe and Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will reopen for sure.
Margaritaville’s Facebook post indicates it’s a likely yes, while Sam’s Town is a maybe.
Look for this story to evolve quickly over the next several days.