Caesars sells Belle of Baton Rouge; last of three sales pending in Louisiana

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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.

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

The sales are in response to Caesars’ July merger with Eldorado Resorts Inc. 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.

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 of the Belle 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.

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.

All sales must get the green light from the FTC and the Louisiana Gaming Control Board before becoming final.

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