The Coronation of Caesars New Orleans

Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel & Casino’s long-standing and successful reign on New Orleans’ tourism and gambling industries.
Provided By Caesars Entertainment 1

Pioneering the concept of destination gambling, Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel & Casino continues to transform the commercial horizon in Louisiana for both the gambling and tourism industries. From upscale gambling machines, full-service sport bars, fine dining restaurants, and turn-key event spaces, Harrah’s incapsulates the New Orleans experience all under one 1861 Monte Carlo dome replica. Started as a $1 billion dollar project, in 1995, by American real estate mogul and developer, Christopher Hemmeter, Harrah’s launched the inevitable rise of the gambling industry in Louisiana, today, worth an estimated $2.38 billion dollars. 

At the time, the gambling den was crowned, “The World’s Largest Casino,” by Harrah’s Entertainment, now known as Caesars Entertainment. Currently, the casino reigns as an industry leader in entertainment tourism not just for Louisiana locals, but for American travelers. In 2024, Harrah’s will re-crown itself Caesars New Orleans with hopes of growing New Orleans’ tourism’s existing international market.

Due to the neighboring success stories of gambling hotels on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast in the 1980s and former-Governor Edwin Edwards’ authorization of a single land-based casino, on the famous corner of Canal and South Peters, Harrah’s initial investors projected the casino would attract one million additional visitors and generate hundreds of millions in revenue for the city, each year. 

As of 2022, the prodigal predication holds strong. In the last fiscal year, Harrah’s brought home $228.3 million dollars in revenue, a 6.5% increase, from its $213.2 million in 2020, phasing the company out of the hospitality industry’s 2021 economic stagnation. Caesars Entertainment’s merger with Eldorado Resorts in 2019 contributed both to keeping New Orleans’ gambling industry afloat, as well as resurrecting the tourism industry post the 2020 pandemic. 

Eager anticipation surrounds Harrah’s impending name change, current general manager and senior vice president — and proud native New Orleanian — Samir Mowad said, “We are hoping with Caesars name brand we will bring all people together.” Looking to attract tourists from Los Angeles to London, Mowad said, “New Orleans is an international city, one of the best cities in the Unites States in my opinion, and we wanted to bring the best brands to our city to show we are an international city supporting internationally well-known and respected brands like Caesars.” 

With the onset of Caesars’ 2024 license extension with New Orleans Mayor Cantrell and the state, a reported $325 million renovation project, the city will see a substantial rise in employment opportunities. Bringing in 600 construction jobs to New Orleans, Caesars is committed to bolstering the city’s job market and economy following its 2024 commencement with various state and city infrastructure projects, spanning over $19.5 million in the next 3 years. 

The mutualistic relationship between the city of New Orleans and Caesars Entertainment will extend once the rebranded casino is fully fledged. Management projects an additional 500 staff members will be needed to operate the new hotel, full-time. 

Holding true to Caesars’ roots, for loyal patrons of Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel & Casino, Samir Mowad explained, “No matter the brand, we always try and engage with people through our Caesars Entertainment’s loyalty program (the current loyalty program associated with Harrah’s.)” 

Addressing anticipated reception with the rebrand from long-standing patrons of the casino, Mowad said, “To the people who have been loyal to us and who have gotten us to where we are today— we know who you are with our program. You will be the first to receive the new value and amenities when the Casino is fully renovated.”

Marking Caesars’ permanent residency in New Orleans, a 340-room hotel tower will be built over the current casino’s valet garage. With a premier selection of world-famous, signature culinary fare such as Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa’s namesake restaurant and brand, Nobu, Mowad believes, “The brands we are bring in with our expansion and rebrand will, now, bring people in to eat and experience New Orleans, on top of gambling.” 

Fostering New Orleans culture, the casino will include celebrity Chef Nina Compton in its selection of high-end restauranteurs, as a vendor in the Casino’s new food hall. Born and raised in St. Lucia, Compton, a James Beard award winner, has made a home for herself and her art here in New Orleans, running the critically acclaimed restaurants Compère Lapin and Bywater American Bistro. 

Caesars’ dedication to the spirit of New Orleans and its legacy on Canal Street will also be brought to life by a second floor Las Vegas-style showroom. From the second-floor stage, the American theater company, Spiegelworld, will entertain guests with original acts in the same likeness as its well-known long-running Las Vegas shows such as the Absinthe and the Atomic Saloon Show. 

Signifying Caesars’ push for the New Orleans-based Casino in scaling Louisiana’s gambling industry into the global market, Mowad said, “The Caesars brand is not a brand we use often. It’s in Vegas and Atlantic City— major international gambling hubs in the United States. Now, it will be in New Orleans.” 

With Harrah’s transformative rebrand to Caesars New Orleans underway, an imminent metamorphosis to Louisiana’s hospitality industry will mark a new era of commercial virality for New Orleans tourism.