Isle of Capri deal falls through

Updated: Nov. 28, 2017 at 11:42 PM CST
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WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) - The deal is off.

New Mexico developer, Laguna Development Corporation, planned to purchase the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel in Westlake last year, but last week they pulled their application from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

The Isle of Capri Casino Hotel in Westlake won't be getting new owners.

What happened is the question everyone wants to know the answer to.

Last year Laguna Development Corporation had plans to purchase the casino for a little over $134 million, but last week they officially dropped those plans.

"Ultimately the state of Louisiana regulatory authority, and our owners the Pueblo of Laguna were unable to reach an accommodation to allow us to be granted a license," said Chief of Sales and Marketing for LDC, Skip Sayre.

Even though both parties agreed to the sell, nothing happens without the approval of the gaming board, and that's where the deal broke down.

"The board never denied them getting a license, and never denied the sale going forth," said gaming board chairman, Ronnie Jones. "It never made it that far."

Sayre wouldn't comment on the exact details, but says the licensing process is what caused things to go south.

Laguna Development had plans if the deal was approved by the gaming board to upgrade, enhance and rename the casino.

"We were prepared to spend significant capital dollars at the property to bring it up to the standards we wanted to operate it in, and so after all those two years of work for it not to come to fruition, it's certainly disappointing for all of us here in New Mexico," said Sayre.

With the deal off, the casino is now open for anyone willing to purchase it, and Jones says even Laguna could try again if they wanted to.

"Nothing prevents them from applying again if they have a change of heart," said Jones.

Sayre says based on the gaming board's licensing process, they don't believe they would be able to obtain a gaming license in Louisiana based on their company's structure.

Sayre says the company doesn't see themselves pursuing this deal again or anything else in Louisiana right now.

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