BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – DiamondJacks Casino & Hotel announced Friday the facility would not reopen after the state’s mandated closure period concludes, citing business circumstances caused by the unexpected impact of the coronavirus.
According to a statement released by the casino, all employees have been notified and are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits, effective immediately.
“In light of the sudden, unforeseeable market conditions that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, the difficult decision has been made to close the casino,” said Diana Thornton, Vice President of Finance at DiamondJacks. “We have worked diligently to be a valued member of the Shreveport-Bossier City business community. We are saddened for the loss of a longtime business here in Louisiana.”
The statement said local managers are working on a closure plan, which has included contacting employees, vendors, and other key stakeholders. They say the team will also decide what to do with the casino’s physical assets. The property will be maintained as closure is completed, though there are no plans for new ownership or additional investments to remain open.
“Even though continuing to operate is not viable from a business standpoint, we have certainly enjoyed being a part of the community and appreciate the loyalty of both guests and team members,” said Thornton. “We are thankful for the support everyone has provided us and will do what we can to ensure those impacted transition to new career opportunities.”
DiamondJacks brings in more than $10 million in taxes and fees to the state and local governments annually.
“During the time that it continues to be shut down, it’s going to be a loss for that area,” said Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones.
In response to the closure, Bossier City leaders provided a statement: “It was not unexpected and our hope is that the market will absorb that loss both revenue-wise and employee-wise.”
DiamondJacks draws about a half-million visitors annually, the majority from out of state. Those guests injected more than $21 million into our economy each year.
“So, the impact of that one casino, even though it may be smaller than some of the other casinos, is still huge for northwest Louisiana,” said Jones.
Jones said the casino has been a good gaming partner to the state since it became licensed in 1993.
“There are no plans to reopen DiamondJacks, though we can share that we love the people and business community in Louisiana,” Thornton said in a statement to KTAL/KMSS. “We are happy to consider any new development opportunities that would align with our values of providing guests with outstanding service and exceptional quality. If that is possible in the future, we would love to come back.”