Casino in 'Big Easy' Files for Bankruptcy Protection--Again

For the second time in the past five years, the first casino in New Orleans, La., has filed for protection under federal bankruptcy laws. Unlike the previous bankruptcy filing in 1995, however, the casino will continue to operate as it seeks to cut its indebtedness and tax burden to the state, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

In 1995, the casino closed and laid off personnel due to its financial problems. Now owned by JCC Holdings and operated by Harrah's Entertainment, the casino has 2,900 employees.

"No disruptions in employment or operations are expected during these proceedings unless the relief sought by JCC is not obtained and a bankruptcy plan cannot be timely approved and consummated by march 31, 2001," JCC Holdings said in a statement from casino spokesman Mark Romig.

The Times-Picayune reported JCC listed $549.3 million in total liabilities, and with $13,121.62 in a bank account. Harrah's Entertainment is JCC Holding's largest creditor, with $221 million in claims.

According to the newspaper, the casino's owner and operator are seeking legislative relief from the $100 annual tax paid by the casino to the state.