Baton Rouge casino winnings rise in November with L’Auberge leading the market _lowres


Riverboat casino winnings in Baton Rouge increased by 9.5 percent in November, thanks to continued strong business at L’Auberge.

The Baton Rouge gambling market brought in nearly $23.8 million in November, according to figures released Thursday by Louisiana State Police. That compares with $21.7 million in winnings during November 2014.

L’Auberge Baton Rouge brought in more than $14.1 million during the month, a 20.4 percent increase from the $11.7 million that was won during November 2014.

This was the second month in a row L’Auberge posted more than a 20 percent increase in winnings and enough to offset the drop in business at the Belle of Baton Rouge and Hollywood Casino.

Winnings at the Belle, the city’s oldest riverboat, fell by 6.9 percent in November. The downtown casino brought in $4.4 million last month, compared with nearly $4.8 million in November 2014.

Hollywood Casino had a more modest drop in winnings, going from $5.21 million in November 2014 to $5.19 million, a 0.3 percent decrease.

Statewide, the 15 riverboats, four racetrack slots casinos and Harrah’s New Orleans casino brought in $200.1 million in November, a 2.6 percent increase over the November 2014 total of $195.1 million. There wouldn’t have been a year-to-year increase if not for the Golden Nugget Lake Charles. The riverboat casino, which opened on Dec. 6, 2014, had nearly $19.7 million in winnings for the month.

The New Orleans casino market saw its winnings fall by 7.9 percent in November because of a drop in winnings at Harrah’s and the slots at the Fair Grounds.

The gambling establishments brought in more than $47.3 million during the month, compared with nearly $51.4 million in winnings during November 2014.

Revenue at Harrah’s dropped by 15.3 percent from $26.8 million in November 2014 to $22.7 million. The casino has blamed its revenue declines on the New Orleans smoking ban, which forces gamblers to leave the slot machines and table games for a cigarette.

Lake Charles, the state’s largest casino market, saw its winnings go up by 15.4 percent, thanks to the addition of the Golden Nugget. The three riverboats and slots at Delta Downs brought in $67.6 million, compared with $58.6 million the year before. Shreveport-Bossier City was down 2.9 percent, with the six riverboat casinos and the slots at Harrah’s racetrack bringing in $54.7 million. The Opelousas market, represented by the slots at Evangeline Downs, was down 4.5 percent to $6.8 million.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.