The Isle Casino Pompano Park, one of South Florida’s most popular gaming facilities, will get a name change this fall.
Later this year, the casino will be rebranded to Harrah’s Pompano Beach and undergo significant renovations.
The Isle’s parent company, Eldorado Resorts, merged with Caesars Entertainment in 2019 to cap off a $17.3 billion deal. The agreement created the largest gaming company in the U.S. and gave Eldorado a controlling stake in it.
Despite receiving 51% of the business, the new company kept the Caesars name. As a result, the Isle became part of the Caesars portfolio and the only Caesars-owned casino in the Sunshine State.
Major changes coming to Isle Casino
The move marked much more than a simple name change for the casino. In fact, it began the start of a multi-year overhaul of the entire property.
Caesars representatives said that the company will partner with The Cordish Cos., the parent company of the Live! casino brand, to build a gigantic entertainment complex in Pompano Beach.
Caesars will own the new gaming facility. Other aspects of the new complex, on the other hand, will be built by Cordish and dubbed LIVE! Resorts Pompano.
Here’s a look at what will be added to the upcoming complex:
- A new hotel
- Commercial office space
- Apartment units
- Movie Theatre
Here’s what is expected to be added within Harrah’s Pompano Beach:
- A 15,000-square-foot casino expansion
- A 580,000-square-foot, four-level, climate-controlled parking garage connected to the casino
- A new “gaming terrace” with 12,500-square-feet of outdoor gaming
In addition, Caesars executives also announced the company will cease harness racing at Pompano Park. The track will be replaced with 100,000 square feet of gaming and dining.
At a ceremony, Caesars CEO Tom Reeg said that the name change was an integral part of the overhaul.
“We don’t throw that name around lightly,” said Reeg regarding the Harrah’s branding. “It was a lot of discussion into what shall we call this, and [Isle Casino] was obviously a Harrah’s to us.”
Overhaul comes as casino expansion battle begins
The changes happen at a time when the Florida gambling market is on the verge of massive expansion. However, that expansion is staring several legal battles in the face.
Last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis entered into a new, 30-year gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe. The agreement expanded gaming options for both Seminole-owned casinos and pari-mutuel facilities. Furthermore, it legalized sports betting and gave the tribe a virtual monopoly over the new market.
Meanwhile, large sports betting and casino companies began efforts to enter the Florida markets themselves.
FanDuel and DraftKings backed a ballot initiative to get legal Florida sports betting on the 2022 ballot. Las Vegas Sands Corp took the same approach for casino expansion.
While the sports betting ballot initiative failed, the casino expansion proposal garnered substantial support.
Several local media outlets reported last summer that the Las Vegas Sands-backed political action committee called Florida Voters in Charge received enough signatures to get a pair of amendments on the 2022 ballot.
One of those amendments would allow for licensed cardrooms to offer full-scale gaming if they were at least 130 miles away from a Seminole casino.
However, on Feb. 1, the Divisions of Elections only validated 814,212 signatures on the petition. The process requires 891,589 signatures to get the issue in front of voters.
Last December, Las Vegas Sands Corp. filed a lawsuit against the Seminole Tribe. Lawyers for Sands claimed that the Seminole Tribe interfered with the signature-gathering process.
According to a Politico report, the lawsuit alleges that the Seminoles paid petition gatherers to stop collecting signatures. Subsequently, Attorney General Ashley Moody asked the Florida Supreme Court to review the initiative.
Harrah’s Pompano Beach wouldn’t fit the criteria anyway
Harrah’s Pompano Beach is only 16 miles from the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood. Therefore, even if the courts put it on the ballot and voters pass it, Harrah’s wouldn’t meet the criteria for full-scale gaming.
If that were to happen, most of the casino expansion would happen in North Florida and the Jacksonville area.
However, the name change does give the property more name recognition among tourists. This is especially true in a Florida market that could contain several other gaming giants.