N.O. casino market posts gains _lowres


Winnings in the New Orleans casino market increased by 4.2 percent in October when compared with the year before, breaking a two-month string of falling short of 2013 numbers.

The three riverboats, Harrah’s land-based casino and slots at the Fair Grounds brought in $52.3 million, according to figures released Thursday by State Police. That compares with the nearly $50.3 million in winnings during October 2013.

Winnings at the three riverboat casinos in the market were up by 3.6 percent to $21.3 million. The gains were almost entirely powered by the Treasure Chest, which had a 12.4 percent revenue gain to reach $8.3 million. Boomtown was virtually unchanged, going up 0.1 percent to $9.2 million, while Amelia Belle posted a 4.2 percent decline to nearly $3.9 million.

Harrah’s saw its winnings go up by 5.5 percent to nearly $27.4 million. But the Fair Grounds had a 2.3 percent drop in winnings, falling to $3.6 million.

Statewide, the 14 riverboats, four racetrack casinos and Harrah’s brought in nearly $194.6 million in October, 3.9 percent better than the $187.3 million last year.

Baton Rouge’s three riverboat casinos brought in more money in October than they did the year before, with all the properties posting gains over 2013 figures. The riverboats brought in nearly $21.8 million in October, compared with almost $21.4 million in October 2013, a 1.9 percent gain.

Lake Charles saw the biggest gain of any casino market in the state, with winnings at the two riverboats and Delta Downs slots going up by 7 percent to $55.3 million.

Shreveport-Bossier City was up 2 percent, with the six riverboat casinos and the slots at the Harrah’s racetrack bringing in $58.1 million.

The Opelousas market, represented by the slots at Evangeline Downs, was down by 0.3 percent.

The release of the casino earnings numbers coincided with a report conducted by Oxford Economics for the American Gaming Association that found the state-regulated gambling operations contributed $4.7 billion to Louisiana’s economy in 2013. The report does not look at the impact of the state’s four tribal casinos.

The industry supports 31,599 jobs in the state, including 19,937 direct jobs. Those jobs generate more than $1.3 billion in labor income, including $790 million in direct income. Overall, commercial gambling in Louisiana generates $1.3 billion, including $416.6 million in state and local tax revenues.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.