New Treasure Chest Casino opens in Kenner with more space

New Treasure Chest Casino opens in Kenner with more space
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Kenner’s Treasure Chest Casino accepted its first bet on solid ground Wednesday at a ribbon cutting for its $100 million land-based casino at the north end of Williams Boulevard, ushering in a new chapter for the gaming establishment after nearly three decades in the iconic riverboat on Lake Pontchartrain. 

The new-and-improved Treasure Chest offers twice as much gaming space as its predecessor, with 900 slot machines and 32 table games. It also features four new restaurants, with options ranging from a steak house to a café, as well as an 8,000-square-foot ballroom for meetings and events.

With its casino located on a single level, the newly constructed Treasure Chest is noticeably less congested than its riverboat ancestor.

“If you’re familiar with the old Treasure Chest casino, you know that we were dealing with a very cramped environment: three floors; tables, slots all on top of each other; very low ceilings,” said David Strow, vice president at Nevada-based Boyd Gaming Corp., which owns the casino.

“You’ll notice walking in here, we’ve already entered a brand-new experience. This is much, much different than anything we’ve offered previously,” Strow said.

The Treasure Chest welcomed hundreds of its top players for a party Wednesday before opening to the public at 8 a.m. Thursday. 

Kenner relies heavily on revenues from the Treasure Chest casino to fund both its police department and capital projects, and officials are hopeful the new land-based casino will be a boon for the city’s coffers.

Flanked at a podium by two Las Vegas-style showgirls, Kenner Mayor Michael Glaser read out a proclamation at Wednesday’s event lauding Boyd Gaming for its investment.

The Treasure Chest, which first opened in 1994, is the third casino to make the move onto land in recent years, after the Louisiana Legislature in 2018 approved a law allowing riverboat casinos to operate onshore as part of an effort to modernize the state’s gaming industry.

“By moving Treasure Chest onto land, we’re able to finally create a first-class gaming and entertainment offering that the city of Kenner, Jefferson Parish and the entire community can be proud of,” Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith said.

“It’s just a win-win situation for everybody,” added Ronnie Johns, chair of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, noting that the land-based casinos employ more people and result in higher state and local gaming tax revenues.

The new Treasure Chest features four new restaurants, including Alder & Birch, a steakhouse; Infusion, a Starbucks-like coffee shop serving treats like miniature king cakes; Lakeside Café, a casual lunch and dinner spot; and The Game, a sports bar featuring a FanDuel Sportsbook and “the longest bar in Kenner,” according to Strow.

Kenner City Council member Joey LaHatte said he hopes the new Treasure Chest marks the “rebirth” of Laketown in north Kenner, noting that many residents have to travel out of the city and into Metairie to go to a steakhouse.

After a ceremonial ribbon cutting, Glaser placed the first bet at a table game. With media crowding around him, he put down $100 at a blackjack table. He tied with the dealer on two consecutive hands. On the third hand, the house beat him.