Baton Rouge’s three riverboat casinos brought in 0.9 percent more in May than they did the year before.
The riverboats’ combined winnings were nearly $25.4 million in May, compared with more than $25.1 million in May 2014, according to figures released Monday by Louisiana State Police. This is the sixth month in a row the Baton Rouge market recorded a gain in winnings over the year before.
L’Auberge, the newest casino in the market, had the biggest gain in revenue, increasing from more than $13.1 million in May 2014 to more than $13.3 million, a 1.7 percent boost. Once again, the riverboat brought in more than the combined revenue generated by the Belle of Baton Rouge and Hollywood Casino.
Hollywood Casino saw its winnings go up by 0.4 percent to slightly more than $6.4 million in May.
The Belle, the oldest casino in the market, saw its winnings drop by 0.2 percent to just over $5.6 million.
Statewide, the 15 riverboats, four racetrack slots casinos and Harrah’s land-based casino brought in more than $237.1 million in May, 10.9 percent better than the $213.9 million the gambling halls won the year before.
Winnings in the New Orleans casino market were down 5.7 percent in May when compared with the year before. The three riverboats, Harrah’s land-based casino and slots at the Fair Grounds brought in $53 million. That compares with the more than $56.2 million in winnings during May 2014.
A plunge in business at Harrah’s caused the New Orleans market to falter. Winnings at the downtown casino fell by 16.3 percent to $24.1 million. Officials with Harrah’s blamed the drop in business on the New Orleans smoking ban, which went into effect April 22.
Lake Charles, the biggest casino market in the state, saw its winnings increase by 46.7 percent from May 2014. The three riverboats and slots at the Delta Downs track bought in $83.4 million, compared with $56.9 million the year before.
The difference was inflated by the Golden Nugget Lake Charles, which opened in December. That casino brought in $24 million in May.
Shreveport-Bossier City was up 0.7 percent, with the six riverboat casinos and the slots at the Harrah’s racetrack bringing in nearly $66.8 million. The improved performance happened despite business at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs plunging by 23.7 percent to nearly $4.1 million.
The Opelousas market, represented by the slots at Evangeline Downs, was up by 2.1 percent to $8.6 million.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.