Louisiana's Casino Market Contracts By 12.6% in May

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board has released its latest casino figures for May, revealing a 12.6% slide in revenues to $207.4 million, compared to the $237.1 million that was collected in the same month last year.
From that tally, the state’s 13,203 video poker machines accounted for roughly $47.7 million of revenues, an amount lower by 7.3% versus May 2015 when the Louisiana’s 14,359 slots generated $51.4 million.
May’s figures now represent five straight month of contracting revenues for the Pelican State, and commenting on the overall worrying results, Spectrum Gaming Group analyst Joe Weinert stated: “The losses in May could be from a calendar issue. There were more weekend days in May 2015 than this year.”
Louisiana’s gambling market consists of 15 riverboats, 4 racinos, and a single land-based venue, Harrah’s, located in New Orleans. In May, all of Louisiana’s gambling venues reported contracting revenues, with the exception of Fair Grounds which generated $3.6 million, up by 5.9% compared to the $3.4 million taken in May 2015.
In the meantime, Lake Charles was down by 16.5% to $69.7 million from the $83.4 million collected last May; Shreveport-Bossier City was down by 13.4% to $57.8 million; Baton Rouge was down by 9% to $23.1 million; New Orleans was down by 6.8% to $49.4 million; and Opelousas was down by 14.5% to $7.3 million.
Also reporting waning revenues in May was Harrah’s in New Orleans, which saw its business contract by 3.5% to $23.3 million. The venue has blamed the smoking ban introduced on April 22nd, 2015 for its recent string of poor results, although the ‘Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights’ group has dismissed the claim as exaggerated. As
MPH Executive Director Cynthia Hallett explains:
“The smoke-free law is not what causes the change in revenue. It’s gaming saturation and the economy in general. When people don’t have as much discretionary income, they’re not spending it in a casino.”

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