In April of this year, Baton Rouge’s three riverboat casinos brought in $25.7 million, which was an increase of 6.7 percent over the reported $24.1 million in winnings from the same time last year, according to figures the Louisiana State Police released on Monday.
The largest increase in activity was recorded at the market’s newest casino, the L’Auberge, which reported winnings of $14.4 million in April. That’s a 13 percent increase over the $12.7 million the casino brought in during April last year, according to The Advocate. Baton Rouge’s oldest casino, the Belle of Baton Rouge, saw a winning’s increase of 3.9 percent and brought in almost $5.5 million compared with 2015’s reported $5.3 million. The only local property in the city to see a decline in winnings was the Hollywood Baton Rouge. The establishment won close to $5.9 million, which is a 4.2 percent decrease from the $6.1 million it reported taking in for April 2015.
Across the state, Harrah’s New Orleans casino, the 15 riverboats, and four racinos together brought in close to $218.8 million in April, a decrease of 0.82 percent from the reported $220.6 million from April last year. Statewide, the 12,968 video poker machines brought in almost $50.4 million, a 1.9 percent decline from April 2015, when the state’s 14,363 machines at truck stops, restaurants, off-track betting parlors, and bars brought in $51.4 million. Winnings fell by 0.74 percent in April in the New Orleans casino market, with gambling venues reporting winnings of more than $51.8 million during April, compared with $52.2 million during April last year.
The smoking ban in New Orleans that went into effect on April 22, 2015, has hit Harrah’s winnings hard. The reported $24.6 million was a decrease of 3.5 percent from the $25.5 million reported in April 2015. The smoking ban forces gamblers at Harrah’s outdoors, which leads to a lull in betting at table games and slot machines as well as an increase in criminal activity.
The state’s largest casino market, Lake Charles, reported a 0.89 percent drop in its winnings, while Delta Down’s three riverboats and slot machines brought in $74.3 million, compared with the $75 million reported in 2015. A 2.8 percent decline was reported by Shreveport-Bossier City, with the slots and six riverboat casinos at Harrah’s racetrack reporting winnings of $59.3 million. Representing the Opelousas market, the slots at Evangeline Downs reported winnings of $7.6 million, a 7.8 percent drop.