A severe drop in business at the Harrah’s land-based casino dragged down the New Orleans gambling market in February, causing winnings to be 6.7 percent lower than they were a year earlier.
The three riverboats, slots at the Fair Grounds and Harrah’s brought in nearly $55.3 million last month, according to figures released Thursday by State Police. That compares with the nearly $59.3 million in winnings during February 2014.
Winnings at Harrah’s dropped to $26.4 million, a 19.4 percent drop from the nearly $32.8 million that was won a year earlier.
Because the downtown casino accounts for the biggest share of the Crescent City gambling market, the drop in business at Harrah’s offset gains at the riverboats and the Fair Grounds.
The riverboats won nearly $24.3 million in February, compared with almost $22.1 million in February 2014, a 10.1 percent gain. Boomtown New Orleans was the best-performing riverboat with nearly $10.7 million in winnings, a 13.3 percent gain. The Amelia Belle brought in $4.6 million, a 8.5 percent increase over the year before, while the Treasure Chest gained 7.2 percent to win just over $9 million in February.
The slots at the Fair Grounds won $4.6 million, a 3.4 percent gain from the year before.
Statewide, the 15 riverboats, four racetrack slot casinos and Harrah’s brought in $224.1 million in February, 6.8 percent better than the $209.7 million the gambling halls won the year before.
Baton Rouge’s three riverboat casinos brought in 8.9 percent more in February than they did the year before. The capital region gambling halls won nearly $27.4 million last month, compared to more than $25.1 million in February 2014.
Lake Charles, the biggest casino market in the state, saw its winnings increase by more than 28 percent from February 2014. The three riverboats and slots at the Delta Downs track brought in $69.8 million, compared to $54.5 million the year before.
The difference was inflated by the Golden Nugget Lake Charles, which opened in December. That casino brought in $14.1 million in February.
Shreveport-Bossier City was up 1 percent, with the six riverboat casinos and the slots at the Harrah’s racetrack bringing in $63.4 million.
The Opelousas market, represented by the slots at Evangeline Downs, was up by 1.7 percent to $8.2 million.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.