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.