The Treasure Chest casino, docked on Lake Pontchartrain in Kenner since shortly after it opened in 1994, is moving onto land as part of a $90 million expansion, city and casino officials announced Wednesday.
The move, which was not unexpected after the City Council last year renewed the lease for the casino’s operator, Boyd Gaming Corp., was made possible by a 2018 Louisiana law that provides a process for floating casinos to move onto land.
“It’s exciting for the city of Kenner,” Mayor Ben Zahn said. “We have a lot of plans for the lakefront.”
When a Las Vegas-based gaming software company gathered the media last month to lay out its plans for Kenner’s Laketown area, the vision that …
Keith Smith, president and CEO of the Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming, said the company has enjoyed a great relationship with Kenner.
“It’s time to expand the property and make it both bigger and better,” Smith said.
Of Louisiana’s 15 floating casinos, the Treasure Chest ranked eighth for gambling revenue for the period from July through November last year, according to State Police regulators.
Riverboats cruising up and down the Mississippi, evoking 19th-century paddlewheelers and tales spun by Mark Twain.
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Planning for the project began in 2018 but was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith said.
The plan calls for building the new casino on the current site of the Treasure Chest’s parking lot, on the east side of Williams Boulevard just inside the Lake Pontchartrain levee. The casino will be on one level with nearby parking, unlike the current setup, which requires customers to wait for a shuttle between the parking lot and the docked gambling boat.
The casino will include new restaurants such as a steakhouse and a sports bar, according to a video shown at the announcement. There will also be a sports book as well as meeting and event space, the video said.
In what would be its most radical transformation since the Treasure Chest Casino opened nearly 30 years ago, Kenner’s Laketown could become th…
Construction should begin by the middle of 2022, and the new casino could open as soon as late 2023, Smith said.
Revenue from the Treasure Chest provides almost $4 million per year to Kenner government. That that could jump to more than $5 million with the new development, Zahn said.
Under the municipal ordinance passed last year, about one quarter of the revenue will go to the Police Department, a little more than one third to capital projects and the remainder will be split among the five City Council districts and paying off debt.
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