Louisiana Casino Revenues Sink 9.7% in March

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board has released its latest financial results, revealing that the state’s 15 riverboats, 4 racinos, and one land-based casino in New Orleans generated $214.2 million in March, down by 9.7% from the $237.1 that was collected in March 2015.
Last month, all of Louisiana’s casino markets saw their revenues decline year-on-year, with New Orleans reporting a 12.2% fall in business to $51.5 million, the biggest contraction in revenues of all The Pelican State’s gambling markets. Harrah’s, the only land-based casino in New Orleans, saw its revenues plummet by 20.7% to $24 million from the $30.2 million that was generated in March 2015. The venue continues to blame the New Orleans smoking ban for its declining numbers, with gamblers now forced to leave the slots and gambling table whenever they want a cigarette. As Harrah’s spokesperson Jade Brown-Russel explains:
“Slot revenue, Harrah’s largest source of revenue, has been impacted the most with slot revenue down 17 percent in the period following the ordinance’s effect compared to prior year. In the 12 months impacted by the smoking ban [Apr 15-Mar 16], Harrah’s has experienced gaming revenue declines in 10 of the 12 months.”
Elsewhere around New Orleans, the area’s riverboats noted an overall 1.4% fall in business to $23.5 million, with Amelia Belle lower by 5.7% at $4.4 million; Boomtown down  2.3% to $10.2 million; Fairgrounds down 12.5% to $4 million; but Treasure Chest bucking the trend and reporting a slight 1.9% improvement in revenues to $9.1 million, compared to the $8.9 million that was taken in the same month last year.
Meanwhile, Louisiana’s other casino markets also had a less than stellar month, with the state’s biggest gambling region, Lake Charles, posting a 11.8% fall in business to $69 million, versus March 2015’s tally of $78.2 million. Next lowest was Shreveport-Bossier City down 7.5% to $60.9 million from its six riverboat casinos, and Harrah’s racino; followed by the Opelousas market down 5.4% to $7.7 million from its slots at Evangeline Downs; and finally Baton Rouge down 4.9% to $24.9 million in March, from the $26.2 million collected in March 2015.

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