Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino and several other gaming facilities in southwest Louisiana were shuttered as Hurricane Rita made landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border the morning of Sept. 24.
All hotel reservations at the Delta Downs hotel in Vinton near the Texas border were canceled through Sept. 25. The racetrack hotel had been housing as many as 100 Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans. Emergency preparedness officials called for a mandatory evacuation of Calcasieu Parish, where Lake Charles is located, Sept. 23. In addition to Delta Downs, Lake Charles' casino fleet shut its doors.
L'Auberge du Lac Casino and Hotel closed its $365-million resort and told employees to evacuate. It said it would reopen "as soon as the threat of the hurricane passes."
Harrah's Lake Charles and Isle of Capri Lake Charles also closed their riverboat casinos and ordered all employees to evacuate. Each property has two riverboats which remained docked at their facilities.
It's the second time in September the owners of the casinos have been impacted by a hurricane. Harrah's lost its Gulfport and Biloxi Grand Casino properties to Hurricane Katrina, which also forced the closure of its land-based casino in New Orleans. Boyd Gaming closed its Treasure Chest casino near Kenner, though the riverboat casino didn't sustain major damage from Hurricane Katrina.
The Isle of Capri lost its Biloxi resort to heavy storm damage, while Pinnacle Entertainment lost its Casino Magic Casino and Hotel in Biloxi. Its Boomtown Casino in Harvey near New Orleans is closed until further notice because of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.