Numbers in the plus column at Baton Rouge’s three riverboat casinos declined by a combined 5.8 percent in February, as all but one of Louisiana’s gambling markets witnessed a decrease in revenues from the year before.
That one exception was Lake Charles.
During the month, the capital city’s three gambling boats brought in nearly $25.8 million, according to figures released by Louisiana State Police on Monday. A $27.4 million decline from February 2015, according to The Advocate.
The biggest slide downward was at the Hollywood Casino, with winnings falling by 9.5 percent from February 2015’s nearly $6.8 million to $6.1 million this year. L’Auberge fell from $14.9 million to $14.2 million, a 4.8 percent drop. The Belle of Baton Rouge dropped to $5.4 million from $5.7 million, a decline of 4.1 percent.
The state’s four racetrack slots casinos, Harrah’s New Orleans land-based casino and 15 riverboats brought in $223.3 million during February, falling 0.4 percent from the $224.1 million won by the casinos a year earlier.
The casino market in New Orleans saw its winnings decrease by 4 percent in February. The slots at Harrah’s and the Fair Grounds, and the three riverboats brought in $53.1 million during February, compared with almost $55.3 million in winnings the same time last year. While the numbers declined at all of the gambling establishments, the hardest hit was the Fair Grounds, with a total revenue decline of 9.5 percent to nearly $4.2 million.
The state’s largest casino market, Lake Charles, saw its winnings increase by 5.9 percent, making it the only market in the state to show year-to-year improvement. The trio of riverboats and slots at Delta Downs raked in $73.9 million, compared with last year’s numbers at just under $70 million. Represented by the slots at Evangeline Downs, the Opelousas market saw a decline of 8.9 percent to $7.4 million.
In other Lake Charles news, the Golden Nugget’s owner, Tilman Fertitta, announced that by the end of this year, 300 rooms will be added to the luxury resort and casino just a year after opening. The opening seemed to put to rest earlier concerns expressed by some tourism and gaming officials who thought that the addition of another casino in Lake Charles would cannibalize the market, already home to the Isle of Capri and Pinnacle Entertainment‘s L’auberge Casino Resort. One has to wonder now though considering the reported 4.8 percent drop at L’Auberge.