Gambling revenue at Louisiana casinos and race tracks increased by 2.6 percent in 2012, a pace that lagged behind the growth in wagering seen nationally.
Revenue increased nationally by 4.5 percent, according to the latest report by Casino City’s North American Gaming Almanac, bringing the amount of money brought by commercial and tribal casinos, off-track betting parlors, sports books and lotteries up to nearly $94.5 billion.
The largest share, almost $40.4 billion, came from casinos and card rooms. Tribal casinos generated more than $28.1 billion, followed by lotteries at just over $23.4 billion and racing and sports gambling at $2.55 billion.
In Louisiana during 2012, legalized gambling brought in $3.78 billion. That put the state ninth nationally for gaming revenue. Nevada, where casinos and sports books generated nearly $11 billion, was first overall, followed by California at $10.2 billion; New York, at nearly $6.1 billion; Florida, at $4.647 billion; and Pennsylvania, at $4.646 billion.
Louisiana’s 14 commercial casinos and video poker parlors brought in a little more than $3 billion during 2012, according to the North American Gaming Almanac. That was a 2.3 percent increase over the year before. The Louisiana lottery generated $203.1 million, a 5.8 percent increase. Wagering on horse races generated almost $53.5 million, a 5.1 percent drop from the year before.
The three tribal casinos operating in Louisiana during 2012 brought in nearly $479 million, according to the Casino City Indian Gaming Industry Report, a 4 percent gain from the year before. That was better than the 2 percent winnings gain that tribal casinos reported nationally during the same year.
Vin Narayanan, editor in-chief of Casino City, said growth has been limited nationally due to regulations restricting tribal casino expansion beyond reservations and differences between tribes over how best to expand.
“There’s a giant political question about that,” he said.
Ironically, the gains happened while the number of slot machines and table games at Louisiana tribal casinos actually decreased. The number of slot machines fell from 6,160 in 2011 to 5,913 in 2012, and the number of table games went from 211 to 194 during the same time.
There are now four tribal casinos in the state; the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians opened the Pines Casino in Dry Prong in February 2013.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter @TCB_TheAdvocate.