Casino winnings in Louisiana climbed 2.3 percent in June to $208.2 million from a year ago, primarily on the strength of several of its riverboat casinos.
According to figures released by the State Police, riverboat revenue jumped 11.6 percent to $158.9 million, even though nine of the state’s 15 riverboats saw declines. The riverboat category got a big lift from an extra boat in Lake Charles that offset a slight decline in the Shreveport-Bossier City market.
Riverboat winnings also tempered a steep drop in June winnings from the state’s four racetrack slot machine casinos and the land-based Harrah’s New Orleans casino. Racino winnings were down 8.3 percent to $28.6 million. The New Orleans casino blamed a smoking ban on a near-31 percent drop-off in its winnings, at $20.7 million.
Here’s how the state’s casino markets fared in June compared with a year ago:
NEW ORLEANS: The overall market dropped 15.5 percent to $46 million, taking the biggest hit from Harrah’s 31 percent decline to $20.7 million in winnings. The Fair Grounds racetrack casino was down 3.8 percent to $3.5 million. Combined, the market’s three riverboats brought in $21.8 million, a 4.2 percent increase.
However, the Amelia Belle was down 1 percent to $3.9 million, while competitor Boomtown was up 3.8 percent to $9.4 million. Treasure Chest was up 7.3 percent to $8.5 million.
BATON ROUGE: The three-boat market edged up 1.4 percent to $22.8 million as the L’Auberge casino continued to pull in twice the winnings of its two competitors combined, both of which saw slight declines. L’Auberge raked in $12.3 million, a 4.5 percent gain. Hollywood Casino revenues dropped 3.4 percent, while the Belle of Baton Rouge dipped 0.3 percent. Each took in more than $5 million.
LAKE CHARLES: The addition of a third riverboat since last year — the Gold Nugget — jacked up riverboat winnings 40 percent to $60.5 million. That casino accounted for $21 million, with competitor L’Auberge Lake Charles falling 14 percent to $27.8 million and the Isle Lake Charles gaining 4.6 percent to $11.2 million. The Delta Downs racetrack casino dropped nearly 8 percent to $14.5 million.
SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY: The market declined, with five of its six riverboats showing decreases in winnings, along with the Harrah’s racetrack casino. The market was down 5.1 percent to $57.1 million. The Margaritaville riverboat casino, the market’s newest boat, was the lone gainer, up 23 percent to $12.1 million.
OPELOUSAS: The Evangeline Downs racetrack casino slid 1.8 percent to $7.2 million.