Casino winnings in Baton Rouge increased by 5.8 percent in December, making it one of two gambling markets in the state to post a year-to-year increase in revenue.
The Baton Rouge riverboats brought in nearly $24.2 million in December, as two of the city’s three boats posted gains, according to figures released Thursday by Louisiana State Police. That compares with $22.8 million in winnings during December 2014.
L’Auberge Baton Rouge brought in nearly $13.7 million during the month, an 11.9 percent increase from the $12.2 million that was won during December 2014.
Hollywood Casino saw its winnings increase 4.9 percent to $5.7 million from $5.4 million. Winnings at the Belle, the city’s oldest riverboat, dropped by 7.7 percent in December to $4.8 million from $5.2 million in December 2014.
Statewide, the 15 riverboats, four racetrack slots casinos and Harrah’s New Orleans casino brought in $217.2 million in December, a 7.5 percent drop from the December 2014 total of $234.8 million.
Casino winnings in New Orleans, Shreveport-Bossier City and Lake Charles all dropped year to year. The biggest percentage decrease happened in New Orleans, where the three riverboats, slots at the Fair Grounds and the Harrah’s land based casino brought in $48.3 million, a 13.5 percent drop from the $55.9 million in winnings the year before. Business at Harrah’s, which has been hit hard by the city’s smoking ban, was down more than 27 percent year to year.
Opelousas, home of the Evangeline Downs race track, had a 1.1 percent increase in casino winnings, going up from $7.66 million in winnings in December 2014 to $7.74 million in December.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter @TCB_TheAdvocate.