The New Orleans casino market saw its winnings fall by 4 percent in February as every one of the city’s gambling establishments brought in less money than the year before.
That was in step with other casino markets in the state, except Lake Charles, which bucked the downward trend.
The New Orleans gambling establishments brought in $53.1 million during the month, according to figures released Monday by Louisiana State Police. That compares with nearly $55.3 million in winnings during February 2015.
The biggest decline was at the Fair Grounds, where the racetrack’s slot winnings dropped by 9.5 percent from $4.6 million during February 2015 to nearly $4.2 million.
Revenue at New Orleans-area riverboat casinos dropped by 4 percent. The two Jefferson Parish riverboats, Boomtown New Orleans and Treasure Chest, had seen their winnings increase since the New Orleans smoking ban took effect. But Boomtown was down 4.5 percent for February to nearly $10.2 million, and Treasure Chest was down 1.2 percent to nearly $9 million.
The Amelia Belle was down 8.4 percent to $4.2 million from $4.6 million.
Revenue at Harrah’s dropped 2.9 percent to $25.6 million from nearly $26.4 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.
Statewide, the 15 riverboats, four racetrack slots casinos and Harrah’s New Orleans brought in $223.3 million during February, a 0.4 percent drop from the $224.1 million the casinos won a year earlier.
Lake Charles, the state’s largest casino market, saw its winnings go up by 5.9 percent, making it the only market to show year-to-year improvement. The three riverboats and slots at Delta Downs racetrack brought in $73.9 million, compared with nearly $70 million the year before.
The Baton Rouge gambling market brought in nearly $25.8 million in February, a 5.8 percent drop from the nearly $27.4 million.
Shreveport-Bossier City was down 0.6 percent, with the six riverboat casinos and the slots at Harrah’s racetrack bringing in $63 million.
The Opelousas market, represented by the slots at Evangeline Downs, was down 8.9 percent to $7.4 million.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate