Harrah’s powers casino market _lowres


For the second month in a row, the New Orleans casino market brought in more money than the year before, thanks to a strong performance at Harrah’s New Orleans.

The three riverboats, land-based casino and slots at the Fair Grounds brought in $53.9 million in July, a 1.9 percent gain, according to figures released Thursday by State Police. That compares with $52.9 million in winnings during July 2013.

Winnings at the Harrah’s casino were up 12.4 percent last month to top $28.5 million. That offset the declining business at the three riverboat casinos in the New Orleans market, which were down 8.5 percent to nearly $21.9 million.

The Amelia Belle riverboat posted the smallest decline, with winnings dropping by 3.8 percent to $4 million. Boomtown New Orleans, the oldest riverboat in the market, saw a 9.4 percent decrease in winnings when compared with July 2013, falling to nearly $9.6 million. The Treasure Chest had an even bigger decline, with winnings falling by 9.7 percent, to $8.2 million.

Winnings at the Fair Grounds slots fell by 2.5 percent to nearly $3.6 million.

Statewide, the 14 riverboats, four racetrack casinos and Harrah’s brought in nearly $213 million in July, slightly better than the $212.6 million last year. This was the second month in a row gambling winnings were up across Louisiana.

Once again, improved business at the Belle of Baton Rouge and in the Lake Charles market helped the state beat the July 2013 numbers.

Baton Rouge’s three riverboats posted a modest 0.4 percent gain over July 2013. But the Belle of Baton Rouge, the city’s oldest riverboat, was up 10.7 percent, to $5.4 million. That offset drops in winnings at L’Auberge and Hollywood Casino.

The two riverboats in Lake Charles were up 5 percent, while the Delta Downs racetrack in Vinton posted a 1.3 percent gain.

The Shreveport-Bossier City market, with six riverboats and slots at the Harrah’s racetrack, was down 4.5 percent. The Opelousas market, represented by the slots at Evangeline Downs, also was down, by 2.7 percent.