In Play

Casinos around the state reopened with cocktails, gaming, good eats and live music on the table
Traveler
Golden Nugget At the Golden Nugget in Lake Charles, Labor Day weekend contests feature big-ticket prizes for guests.

When casinos reopened in May, they followed many other Louisiana businesses by limiting their offerings — in this case gaming positions — and decreasing the facility’s capacity to allow for social distancing. Safety precautions were put in place, including requiring masks and installing sanitation stations throughout.

Unfortunately, many of the live performances scheduled for 2020 were cancelled or postponed.

But, the game’s still on.

Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, the state’s largest land-based casino, is fully operational except for the closure of the Atrium Bar and the lounge at Legends Steakhouse and the Cyber Quest arcade for kids. Guests may still enjoy the gaming floor with spacing between gamers, the iconic alligators in the hotel’s atrium which get routinely fed in front of an audience, overnight accommodations at the hotel and the Market Place Buffet.

Gatherings of more than 50 people, which includes concerts and conferences, are on hold for the time being, said Jody Madigan, Paragon Casino Resort general manager. The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe, which owns and operates the resort, requires masks for all visitors, even though they are exempt from state mandates, which do not include Louisiana’s Native American tribes.

“The Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Council and Paragon leaders are continuing to stay in contact with local, state and federal leaders surrounding COVID-19,” Madigan said. “Both leadership teams are continuing to monitor the situation and will respond accordingly.”

Horse racing continues at Louisiana Downs and safety measures are in full swing at its sister property, Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel & Casino, which includes a 24-story hotel and several dining options.

Labor Day promotions are on the menu for Golden Nugget in Lake Charles and Harrah’s New Orleans. Golden Nugget is offering a $250,000 Labor Day Luxury Car Giveaway Sept. 4-6 with guests entering to win each day. Three BMWs will be awarded each night during Labor Day weekend with announcements made at midnight. Harrah’s prefers Lexus as its Labor Day prize, announcing the winner on Sept. 5.

While live music is currently suspended, the 205-guest room hotel at L’auberge Baton Rouge remains a luxurious getaway, especially when coupled with a meal at 18 Steak, the casino’s fine dining experience. What makes L’auberge Baton Rouge unique, at least for non-smokers, is that the hotel exists on one side of the levee and the casino another, with a passageway connecting the two. The distance between the two buildings gives those with sensitive noses the ability to rest smoke free.

The 1,000 four-diamond hotel rooms and suites at L’auberge Lake Charles are routinely cleaned and inspected upon checkout and the resort’s restaurants and expansive lazy river remain open, good news for those wishing to escape the heat of September. The poker room, buffet and arcade will be closed until the COVID pandemic lessens with the gaming floor limited to 50 percent capacity.

Like its sister property in Baton Rouge, L’auberge Lake Charles’ live music and entertainment are suspended until further notice. Blues Traveler and Cheap Trick have been rescheduled but check the resort’s website for current updates.

Golden Nugget Lake Charles will restart its entertainment this month with Tracy Lawrence performing Sept. 5 and Hank Williams Jr. on Sept. 6. The fall lineup includes ZZ Top, Chicago, Gladys Knight and Little River Band, among many more.

Naturally, dates are subject to change or cancel so check casino websites and social media for up-to-date information.


Categories: Around The State