Plans in works for replacement casino boat in Marquette

MARQUETTE — State regulators have approved a financing plan that will eventually lead to a replacement boat for the Casino Queen in Marquette.

Racing and Gaming administrator Brian Ohorilko says a $46 million financing plan was approved for the parent company to buy two boats in Louisiana. “The long-term plan would be for Casino Queen to purchase those riverboats, operate those casinos in Louisiana, but move one to Marquette and replace that boat. So it would be a larger boat, maybe a little newer,” Ohorilko explains.

He says the new boat is a good thing for Marquette. “Just having the ability to have something larger, fresher, is definitely good for that market,” he says. All facilities were on riverboats when the state approved casino gambling — and the Casino Queen is one of three that remain.

The Ameristar is in Council Bluffs, and it has a hotel and restaurants at that location. The Lakeside Casino in Osceola has the same type of setup, and it is a barge. The Racing and Gaming Commission approved the financing plan at their November meeting.