The New Orleans casino market saw its winnings fall by 12.2 percent in March, the biggest drop in activity for any of the state’s gambling regions.
The gambling establishments brought in more than $51.5 million during the month, according to figures released Monday by Louisiana State Police. That compares with nearly $58.7 million in winnings during March 2015.
Winnings at Harrah’s dropped by 20.7 percent to nearly $24 million from $30.2 million in March 2015. The casino has been hit hard by the New Orleans smoking ban, which forces gamblers to leave the slot machines and table games for a cigarette.
Winnings at the Fair Grounds dropped by 12.5 percent to nearly $4.1 million from $4.6 million in March 2015. All of the slot casinos at racetracks around the state saw their earnings drop when compared with March 2015.
One of the few winners in the state was the Treasure Chest riverboat casino, which saw its gambling revenue go up by 1.9 percent to nearly $9.2 million from just under $9 million. Treasure Chest and Boomtown New Orleans, which are located in Jefferson Parish and outside the New Orleans smoking ban, have generally seen their business go up in recent months.
However, Boomtown New Orleans saw its winnings go down 2.3 percent to $10.2 million in March from nearly $10.5 million a year ago. Amelia Belle had a 5.7 percent drop to $4.1 million.
Overall, New Orleans area riverboats were down 1.4 percent from March 2015, bringing in $23.5 million. Statewide, the 15 riverboats, four racetrack slots casinos and Harrah’s New Orleans brought in $214 million in March, a 9.7 percent decrease from March 2015’s $237.1 million.
Lake Charles, the state’s largest casino market, saw its winnings drop by 11.8 percent. The three riverboats and slots at Delta Downs brought in $69 million, compared with $78.2 million the year before.
The Baton Rouge gambling market brought in nearly $24.9 million in March, a 4.9 percent drop from the $26.2 million in winnings during March 2015.
Shreveport-Bossier City was down 7.5 percent, with the six riverboat casinos and the slots at Harrah’s racetrack bringing in $60.9 million. The Opelousas market, represented by the slots at Evangeline Downs, was down 5.4 percent to $7.7 million.
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