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Baton Rouge’s riverboat casino market saw a 5.6% drop in winnings during January when compared to the year before. Hollywood Casino was the only riverboat in the market to bring in more money during the month than it did in January 2020. 

Baton Rouge’s riverboat casino market saw a 5.6% drop in winnings during January when compared to the year before.

The 13 riverboat casinos, Harrah’s land-based casino and four racinos brought in nearly $174.6 million during January, according to figures released Thursday by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. That’s down 10.9% from the nearly $196 million that 15 riverboats, Harrah’s and the four racinos generated in January 2020.

Casino capacity has been capped at 50% in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Video poker revenue was up 17.6% statewide in January to $61.2 million from $52.1 million. The increase happened even though video poker revenue from bars was down by 34.2%. Revenue from video poker truck stops, which account for the largest share of machines, was up 29.6%.

The three riverboat casinos in Baton Rouge brought in $18.6 million in January, compared to $19.7 million in January 2020.

Hollywood Casino was the only property to post a year-to-year revenue increase. The downtown casino brought in nearly $4.5 million in January, a 3.1% increase over the $4.3 million in revenue it reported a year ago.

L'Auberge Baton Rouge posted nearly $12.9 million in winnings, a 2.2% decrease from the $13.2 million.

The Belle of Baton Rouge, which has closed its hotel for renovations, posted a 43.4% drop in revenue from $2.2 million to $1.2 million. Casino Queen, a Midwest riverboat casino operator, has announced plans to buy both the Belle and Hollywood.

The New Orleans casino market saw its revenue drop by 26.8% in January from $50.3 million to $36.8 million. That was the biggest plunge of any gambling market.

Harrah’s, which has been hard hit by the loss of tourism caused by the pandemic, saw its winnings plunge by 39.2% from $24.4 million to $14.9 million. The slots at the Fair Grounds racetrack dropped by 24.3% to $3.1 million compared to the $4 million in winnings posted in January 2020. The three New Orleans area riverboat casinos posted a 13.5% drop in revenue, despite an uptick in business at Boomtown New Orleans. Boomtown had a 2.7% increase from $9.5 million to $9.7 million. Treasure Chest had a 24.6% drop from $8.8 million to $6.6 million. Winnings at the Amelia Belle were down 28.9% from $3.6 million to $2.6 million.

In other markets, Acadiana, represented by the slots at Evangeline Downs, was down 0.6%, or about $35,500, to $6.2 million. Shreveport-Bossier City posted $47.3 million, a 5.4% drop and had one less casino than the year before. Lake Charles was down by 5.8% to $65.7 million, with the Isle of Capri closed from damage during Hurricane Laura in late August. Officials have said the casino will remain closed until spring 2022.


Email Timothy Boone at tboone@theadvocate.com.