Isle of Capri agrees to sell Lake Charles casino

Analysts applauded a decision earlier this week by Isle of Capri Casinos, which agreed to sell one of its two riverboat casinos in Lake Charles, La., to a private developer who would move the facility to Bossier City.

The agreement is contingent on Paradise Casino LLC getting both Louisiana regulatory approval and as well as gaining referendum approval from Bossier City residents that favors the move. Bossier City is near Shreveport.

“We believe that the pending transaction for one of the two vessels located at our gaming operation in Lake Charles will provide a solid opportunity for our company,” Isle of Capri CEO Virginia McDowell said in a statement.

Terms of the deal were not announced and Paradise has until Nov. 30 to live up to its end of the deal.

Lake Charles is going to get crowded. Pinnacle Entertainment operates the L’Auberge du Lac resort and Dan Lee’s Creative Casinos is moving forward with the $400 million Mojito Pointe.

Isle of Capri has two riverboats, one is the main casino and the other is for overflow business.

“There hasn't been overflow for quite some time,” Morgan Joseph gaming analyst Justin Sebastiano told investors. “The sale would allow Isle to monetize an asset that, in our opinion, will not be missed. We do not believe operations on the remaining riverboat will be affected in any way.”

Analysts said Paradise might run into some conflict from Pinnacle, Caesars Entertainment, and Boyd Gaming Corp., in moving the riverboat to Bossier City. The companies also operate riverboat casinos in the Bossier City-Shreveport area.