PlayUSA Rewind: Caesars Offloads Baton Rouge Casino To Competitor

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on December 8, 2020 - Last Updated on March 30, 2021

Only four more rewinds left this calendar year — how time flies! But don’t worry: Here at PlayUSA, we will continue to keep you updated on all the exciting stories filling the gambling world.

On this week’s rewind, Caesars Entertainment sells off one of its properties and drops it in the hands of its competition. Plus, Colorado sports betting continues to set records, and DraftKings makes a move into Connecticut.

On the rewind:

Caesars sells Belle of Baton Rouge

When you become the most dominant casino operator in the US, you are going to have to comply with the higher-ups, most notably the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

When Caesars and Eldorado Resorts merged in a massive $17.3 billion transition, Caesars was forced to sells off some assets to comply with FTC regulations.

This included, among other things:

  • Selling Eldorado Shreveport (LA)/operations of MontBleu Resort Casino (NV) to Bally’s Corp. for a combined $155 million.
  • Selling Tropicana Evansville (IN) to GLPI and Bally’s for $480 million.
  • Agreeing with Indiana regulators to sell three of five properties in the state.

This time around, Caesars is selling Belle of Baton Rouge to CQ Holdings Co. for an undisclosed amount.

This is particularly interesting because CQ Holdings operates (surprise surprise) DraftKings at Casino Queen in Illinois and Casino Queen Marquette in Iowa.

Don’t worry, though. Caesars will still have a vice grip on Louisiana. It will still own and operate Harrah’s New Orleans, Horseshoe Bossier City and Isle of Capri Lake Charles.

The takeaway: Caesars CEO Thomas Reeg said it best, telling CDC Gaming Reports, “We are economic animals. We’re always happy to be wowed by an offer.” Selling off assets could help the company slim down its portfolio and get rid of debt. Nothing wrong with keeping big-name stars and selling off some small assets in hopes of better returns.

Colorado sports betting continues to impress

Sports betting in Colorado continues to set million-dollar records. This time, the state attracted $210.7 million in bets for October, according to data released by the state’s gaming division. This is $3 million more than last month’s $207.7 million.

But of course, the thing lawmakers care about the most is tax revenue.

Colorado collected $824,700 in tax revenue, which was a 91.5% increase from September.

Additionally, gross gaming revenue increased from $4.2 million last month to a massive $17.4 million in October.

The takeaway: All of this is very promising for a state that launched sports betting in the middle of a global pandemic. Colorado continues to show how lucrative sports betting can be even in smaller states. What also has the attention of lawmakers in other states is the constant revenue stream, which, according to experts, will only increase.

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DraftKings partners with Foxwoods

Popular CT tribal casino Foxwoods has entered into a sports betting operation agreement with DraftKings. While Connecticut sports betting isn’t legal yet, this deal will be DraftKings’ market access when it does happen.

Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which owns Foxwoods, said in a statement that “partnering with DraftKings, the most prominent name in sports betting, reinforces the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe’s position as a leader in the gaming and entertainment industry. …

“We’ve proven our ability to shape the future of gaming time and time again, and now we’re ready to drive sports wagering and online gaming for the state of Connecticut. Working through the tribal gaming compacts, we will help bolster our economy with much-needed revenue and virtual entertainment.”

Part of the deal secures DraftKings as the first daily fantasy sports partner for Foxwoods, so players can expect promotions and contests by the venerable brand.

Connecticut’s other tribe — the Mohegan tribe that operates Mohegan Sun casino — is also in favor of getting legal sports betting enacted as soon as possible. Both tribes claim they have exclusive gaming rights in Connecticut because they currently pay the state 25% of their slot revenue.

The takeaway: The multichannel deal is a great win for DraftKings, which is clearly continuing a carefully thought-out course of domination.

Photo by Dreamstime
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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