Gaming Control Board approves extension for Mojito Pointe - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Louisiana Gaming Control Board approves extension for Mojito Pointe

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Two major developments took place today at the Louisiana Gaming Board meeting in Baton Rouge, one with L'Auberge and the other with Mojito Pointe.

The original deadline for Creative Casinos to begin construction on the much awaited Mojito Pointe was February 18, just two days from now.

But according to Creative Casinos CEO Dan Lee, that deadline could not be met, so this morning at the gaming meeting, he requested a 30 day extension from the board.

"The reason for that request is that while we have the great bulk of the financing commitments in place, there's still a small piece that needs to be obtained," said Kelly Duncan with Creative Casinos.

Creative Casinos officials added that paperwork must also be completed before construction can begin, and with the finances of this project, they say it's extensive.

"This is a big project," said Lee. "It's 400 million. With the interest during the construction period and financing fees, it ends up being about 525, so it's a half a billion dollar project, pretty ambitious."

Laughter escaped Lee when the board asked what the best case scenario for Mojito Pointe would be.

"We'll be under construction, and I won't have to be here next month," said Lee. "And I think that's pretty likely at this point."

One of the project's largest investors, MGM, increased their commitment from $30 million to $55 million. Lee and his partners also increased their commitment from $10 million to $15 million in order to get the construction started.

"Everybody kind of pulled together to pull this together and we're this close," said Lee.

The board approved the extension request without opposition.

Construction of Mojito Pointe must now start on or before March 16. The construction of Mojito Pointe must be completed within two years of it starting.

L'Auberge was also represented at Thursday morning's meeting.

Officials were requesting a 5-year extension on their current gaming license.

The extension was approved, and the board mentioned they were very pleased with the how L'Auberge was doing business in the Lake Charles area.  

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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