The New Orleans casino market saw its winnings increase by 4 percent in September, thanks to increased winnings at the local riverboat casinos and Harrah’s.
Harrah’s, the market’s three riverboats and the slots at the Fair Grounds racetrack brought in $49.1 million during September, according to figures released by Louisiana State Police. That compares with $47.2 million in winnings during September 2014.
Revenue at Harrah’s rose by 2 percent, increasing from $24.0 million in September 2014 to $24.5 million. The casino’s winnings have been see-sawing between beating 2014 numbers and falling short. The casino has blamed its revenue drops on the New Orleans smoking ban, which forces gamblers to leave the slot machines and table games to smoke.
Winnings at the city’s three riverboats all increased in September. Treasure Chest was the big winner, with revenue increasing from $7.3 million in September 2014 to $8.1 million, a 10.6 percent boost. Boomtown New Orleans had $9.4 million in winnings, which was up 8.3 percent from $8.7 million in September 2014. The Amelia Belle was up 5.3 percent from $3.7 million in winnings for September 2014 to $3.8 million.
The only Crescent City gambling hall to report a revenue decline was the Fair Grounds. The slots at the racetrack fell from $3.5 million in September 2014 to $3.2 million, an 8.5 percent decrease.
Statewide, the 15 riverboats, four racetrack slots casinos and Harrah’s brought in $206.1 million in September, a 12.8 percent increase over the September 2014 total of $182.8 million. The increase would have been much narrower if not for the Golden Nugget Lake Charles. The riverboat casino, which opened in December, had nearly $21.8 million in winnings for the month.
Baton Rouge’s three riverboat casinos brought in 2.8 percent more in September than they did the year before. The riverboats’ combined winnings totaled nearly $21.7 million in September, compared with $21.1 million in September 2014.
Lake Charles, the state’s largest casino market, saw its winnings go up by 38.3 percent, thanks to the addition of the Golden Nugget. The three riverboats and slots at Delta Downs brought in $72.6 million, compared with $52.5 million the year before.
Shreveport-Bossier City was up 1.1 percent, with the six riverboat casinos and the slots at Harrah’s racetrack bringing in $56.1 million.
The Opelousas market, represented by the slots at Evangeline Downs, was up 2.8 percent to $6.7 million.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.