The New Orleans casino market saw its winnings fall slightly by 0.3 percent in October because of a drop in winnings at Harrah’s and the slots at the Fair Grounds.
The three riverboats, downtown casino and slots at the racetrack brought in nearly $52.2 million during the month, according to figures released Thursday by State Police. That compares with $52.3 million in winnings during October 2014.
Revenue at Harrah’s dropped by 3.1 percent from $27.4 million in October 2014 to $26.5 million. The casino’s winnings have been seesawing between beating 2014 numbers and falling short.
The casino has blamed its revenue drops on the New Orleans smoking ban, which forces gamblers to leave the slot machines and table games for a cigarette.
The Fair Grounds saw a bigger drop, with winnings falling by nearly 10 percent from $3.6 million in October 2014 to almost $3.3 million last month.
But the area’s riverboat casinos all saw their winnings rise. Boomtown New Orleans was the biggest gainer, going up 7.7 percent. The casino brought in $9.9 million in October, compared with nearly $9.2 million the year before.
Treasure Chest rose by 3.5 percent to nearly $8.6 million. The casino brought in almost $8.3 million in October 2014.
The Amelia Belle was up from $3.88 million in winnings in October 2014 to $3.92 million last month, an increase of 1.1 percent.
Statewide, the 15 riverboats, four racetrack slots casinos and Harrah’s New Orleans brought in $215.7 million in October, a 10.9 percent increase over the October 2014 total of $194.6 million. The increase would have been much narrower if not for the Golden Nugget Lake Charles. The riverboat casino, which opened in December, had nearly $20.2 million in winnings for the month.
Winnings at Baton Rouge’s three riverboat casinos increased by 13 percent in October, thanks to strong business at L’Auberge. The Baton Rouge gambling market brought in $24.6 million in October, That compares with $21.8 million in winnings during October 2014.
Lake Charles, the state’s largest casino market, saw its winnings go up by 31 percent, thanks to the addition of the Golden Nugget. The three riverboats and slots at Delta Downs brought in $72.5 million, compared with $55.3 million the year before.
Shreveport-Bossier City was up 2.9 percent, with the six riverboat casinos and the slots at Harrah’s racetrack bringing in $59.8 million.
The Opelousas market, represented by the slots at Evangeline Downs, was down 5.1 percent to $6.7 million.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.