Louisiana’s Gaming Commission has approved the sale of the shuttered Bossier City Diamond Jacks Casino to Mississippi-based firm Foundation Gaming. The deal was greenlighted Thursday, thus setting the stage for a nearly $200 million renovation and reopening that the owners claim will bring the abandoned property back to life.
“This is a day we’ve been waiting for a long time,” Gaming Commission Chairman Ronnie Johns said, as reported by The Times of Shreveport. “Foundation has an impressive plan.” The company agreed in May 2022 to acquire the former casino from Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) for an undisclosed sum.
Foundation Gaming plans to open its new property – which will be the first land-based casino in the Shreveport-Bossier City market since all the others are on barges – by December 2024. The new owners further said the company will rebrand the 26-acre property with a new name, yet to be determined; and that demolition of the current facility will begin early next year.
“We’ve put together what we believe will be a great project for the market and for the community,” said Greg Guida, Foundation’s co-chief executive officer, as reported by the cited source.
The project has been endorsed by Bossier City Mayor Thomas Chandler and the Bossier Parish Police Jury, as well as a number of legislators. These include Democratic state Rep. Sam Jenkins, in whose District 2 the casino is located, and who called the improvements to the facility and the expectation of jobs and tourism “welcomed news.”
Among the plans Foundation – which operates Fitz Casino in Tunica and WaterView Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi – has for the Bossier City project is the construction of a new 47,000-square-foot casino.
The company will also complete a renovation of the 405-room hotel; add a sports betting lounge and a 300-seat live entertainment venue that owners say will be a signature amenity of the property; and include at least three restaurants and two retail outlets, in addition to a spa and pool.
Guida said the existing riverboat will be sold and moved either by floating down the Red River or disassembling and moving by land, The Times of Shreveport notes. Diamond Jacks has been closed since the spring of 2020, which previous owner Peninsula Pacific called a result of the “unexpected impact” of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The property was the first casino to open in northwest Louisiana in 1994, initially doing business as the Isle of Capri. Peninsula never intended to reopen Diamond Jacks in Bossier City, and instead went all in on a bid to use its license to build a casino resort in St. Tammany Parish near Slidell, a project that was ultimately voted down.