Louisiana's Treasure Chest Riverboat Casino Ends 30-Year Run

After three decades of operation, the iconic Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner, Louisiana, closed its doors on June 1, marking the end of an era for the riverboat gambling landmark.

The Treasure Chest Casino, a riverboat casino in operation in Louisiana since 1994. (Source: Treasure Chest Casino)

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The Treasure Chest Casino, which opened in 1994, has been a staple of the Kenner skyline, offering gaming entertainment on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. Over the years, it has become a beloved local institution, contributing to the city's economy and community life.

The closure of the riverboat casino is not the end of the Treasure Chest brand, however. In a move that reflects the evolving landscape of the gaming industry, the operators have announced the opening of a new land-based Treasure Chest Casino.

Related: Louisiana Gaming Market Halts Revenue Slide

Scheduled to welcome guests on June 6, the new facility boasts an impressive 48,000 square feet of gaming space, doubling the size of the original casino floor. This expansion is set to offer patrons a more spacious and modern gambling experience.

With over 900 slot machines and 43 table games, the new Treasure Chest Casino is poised to become a premier gaming destination in the region. The increased capacity and updated amenities are expected to attract both loyal customers of the old riverboat and new visitors alike. The transition from a riverboat to a land-based casino also signifies a shift in the regulatory environment as Louisiana moves toward integrating its gaming operations with the broader hospitality and entertainment sectors.

The new casino's design and architecture aim to pay homage to the legacy of the original Treasure Chest while ushering in a new age of gaming in Kenner. In addition, employees of the former Treasure Chest Casino have been offered positions at the new location, ensuring a continuity of employment for the dedicated staff.

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From Water to Land

The landscape of Louisiana's gaming industry underwent a significant transformation with the passage of legislation allowing land-based casinos in 2018. The Louisiana Economic Development and Gaming Corporation Act, as part of the Louisiana Gaming Control Law, marked a turning point in the state's approach to gambling regulation and economic development, a move aimed at boosting tourism and generating additional revenue for the state.

Under the new law, the state's first land-based casino was established in New Orleans. The casino, which operates under the name of Harrah's New Orleans, has become a cornerstone of the city's entertainment offerings. It not only provides a variety of gaming options but also contributes significantly to the local economy through job creation and tax revenues.

The legislation has not been without its critics, however. Concerns have been raised about the social impact of increased gambling opportunities, including potential rises in addiction and other related issues. In response, the state has implemented measures to promote responsible gambling and provide support for those affected by gambling addiction. These efforts are part of a broader strategy to ensure that the expansion of the gaming industry benefits the state while minimizing potential harm.

Looking ahead, the implications of land-based casinos in Louisiana are far-reaching. However, the goal is to maintain a balance between economic growth and social responsibility, a challenge that Louisiana is poised to meet head-on.


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