You Could Own What Was Once Home to a Indiana’s First Riverboat Casino
If you happen to have some cash just sitting around, you could own your very own riverboat - and this one just happens to have ties to the city of Evansville, Indiana.
Gambling on the Water
In 1993 Indiana passed legislation to legalize casino gambling, but there was a catch - it couldn't be done on land. In 1995, Evansville became home to the state's first-ever riverboat casino - Casino Aztar. Docked on the Ohio River, along Riverside Drive in the city's downtown, those who wanted to try their luck could enjoy table games, slots, and more. Watch the commercial celebrating the grand opening of Casino Aztar.
After nearly twenty years, Casino Aztar was purchased and its name was changed to Tropicana Evansville, but the casino was still housed on the 310-foot riverboat. In 2015, Indiana made changes to the laws regarding where casinos could do business, and in 2017, Tropicana Evansville became Indiana's first land-based casino. (The land-based operations continued as Tropicana until 2021 when the casino was purchased by current owners, Bally's.) You can see drone footage of the riverboat casino docked on the Evansville riverfront below.
Bye Bye Riverboat
The longtime riverfront fixture departed the River City for a fresh start in the Crescent City. In 2021, the vessel, which holds 3,000 passengers, made its way down the Ohio River, and along the Mighty Mississippi to make its way to what would be its new dock in New Orleans. It was here that the boat took on its new name and new life as it was transformed into a night club and events space known as the Riverboat Louis Armstrong. It even made an appearance on Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve in 2021.
Up For Sale
The riverboat is now up for sale and if you happen to have $15,995,500.00 to spend. What exactly would a new owner be getting for that kind of cash? According to OceanMarine Brokerage Services, that price tag brings the potential for "turn key operation." Originally built in 1995 as a replica of a Civil War Era steamboat, the vessel was updated and rebuilt fully in 2019.
This vessel is a replica of the Historic "Robert E. Lee racing sidewheel steamboat" crafted nearly 130 years ago. Construction took 200 workers over 12 months to complete.
Big Bang for Your Buck
Most recently, in July of 2022, a certificate of the inspection was completed by the United States Coast Guard. The riverboat boasts nearly 80,000 square feet, with just over half of that being public area. The brokerage firm says the fair market value for the former Casino Aztar riverboat is $31,000,000.000. Take a video tour of the vessel below and then keep scrolling to see how downtown Evansville has changed over the years.
[Source: IBJ; OceanMarine.com]