Caesars selling Belle of Baton Rouge riverboat casino to Illinois-based company

Louisiana News

CASINO “BELLE OF BATON ROUGE”, BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANE, ETATS UNIS. (Photo by Wojtek BUSS /Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Belle of Baton Rouge has been sold by Caesars Entertainment Inc. to Illinois-based CQ Holding Company Inc., according to a press release. CQ Holding operates DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Illinois and Casino Queen Marquette in Iowa.

Caesars’ chief executive officer Tom Reeg thanked the employees of The Belle for their service under his firm. “I want to thank all of our Baton Rouge Team Members for their hard work and dedication, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Reeg. “We wish them the best under Casino Queen’s ownership.”

The sales price and other financial details were not disclosed.

The transaction is expected to close in mid 2021, pending regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

The Belle opened in 1994. Formerly known as the Catfish Queen, the property sits on the Mississippi River next to the historic USS Kidd. The riverboat hotel-casino is ten stories with about 280 rooms, restaurants, a business center and more than 30,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The complex also has close to 800 slot machines and 14 table games.

The Belle will be the third Louisiana property Caesars intends to sell.

Caesars merged with Eldorado Resorts Inc. in July for $17.3 billion. The sale of The Belle is considered part of Caesars ongoing divestment of properties. Since the merger, regulations demand Caesars get rid of multiple properties to comply with anti-competitive issues raised by the Federal Trade Commission and state gaming regulators.

In Bossier City, a deal is pending between Caesars and Rubico Aquisition Corp. for the sale of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack $22 million. Caesars is also selling Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport in Bossier City to hedge-fund investor Soo Kim’s Bally’s Corporation.

Once Caesars completes its three casino sales in Louisiana, it will still operate Harrah’s New Orleans, Horseshoe Bossier City, and Isle of Capri Lake Charles.

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