DiamondJacks owners file petition for sale to Mississippi company

BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – After months of delays and a final ultimatum to work out the details of a possible sale or give up its license, a deal is in the works for the sale of the DiamondJacks Casino in Bossier City to a Mississippi-based company that buys and refurbishes distressed casino properties.

According to Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) has filed a petition with the board for a buy-sell agreement with Foundation Gaming.

This, Johns says, brings P2E into compliance with what the board mandated two months ago. The Los Angeles-based company had until the board’s April 18 meeting to work out a possible sale.

Johns says the board will decide whether to accept the petition at its monthly meeting on Monday in Baton Rouge. After that, Louisiana State Police will have to vet the buyers for their suitability for licensing. That process could take two to three months, after which the board would begin the process of approval for transferring the license to Foundation Gaming.

Financial details of the proposed sale were not included in the petition filed with the board, Johns said.

DiamondJacks has been shut down since May 2020, when P2E announced it would not reopen after pandemic restrictions eased. In October, the casino laid off 349 employees and held a liquidation sale, unloading everything from commercial kitchen and laundry equipment to flat-screen TVs and stage lights.

The company planned to move its license to St. Tammany Parish, where it planned to develop a $325 million casino and marina in Slidell, but voters rejected a referendum in December of 2021 that would have allowed the move.

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board’s approval of the license relocation hinged on voter approval of that referendum, stipulating that gaming operations would have to resume in Bossier City within 60 days if voters rejected it.

P2E originally had until Feb. 9 to resume gaming operations at the Bossier City property or relinquish its license, but asked for and received an extension in January to have more time to prepare a detailed reopening plan before the board on Feb. 17. But when that day came, P2E asked for still more time to work out the details of a possible sale to Foundation Gaming.

In spite of those concerns, the board reluctantly gave the owners of DiamondJacks another extension. P2E had until April 18 to work out a sale or give up their gaming license. But not before members of the state gaming board made clear their frustration with the extended delays.

Now that a deal appears to be in the works, it could still take an estimated two to three years to approve new buyers and get a firm date for reopening, meaning the dilapidated property could remain vacant for some time.