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, according to figures released Thursday by Louisiana State Police. That compares 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.
Winnings at the Fair Grounds dropped by 8.7 percent, falling from nearly $3.7 million in November 2014 to $3.4 million. All of the slots at racetracks around the state saw their earnings drop when compared to November 2014.
Revenue at New Orleans area riverboat casinos increased by 1.8 percent, despite a drop in winnings at the Amelia Belle. Boomtown New Orleans saw its winnings go up from nearly $8.9 million in November 2014 to almost $9.4 million, a 5.4 percent increase. The winnings at Treasure Chest saw a slightly smaller increase, going up 4.8 percent to $8.3 million. Amelia Belle had a 12.2 percent drop to nearly $3.6 million.
Statewide, the 15 riverboats, four racetrack slots casinos and Harrah’s New Orleans 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.
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.
The Baton Rouge gambling market brought in nearly $23.8 million in November, a 9.5 percent increase from the $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 November 2014.
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.