espite setbacks from the busy hurricane season, Gulf Coast casinos are reporting healthy prospects. Unlike the gambling hubs of Las Vegas and Atlantic City, casino business in New Orleans and Biloxi is only slightly down from last year, and foreseen to improve rapidly.
Economic conditions in the area are driven by the booming oil industry, providing steady incomes which would be envied in most regions of the United States. But other factors more in control of casinos also favor the Gulf Coast.
The crazed pace of construction and the constant introduction of new competition common in both Nevada and New Jersey have not occurred in Louisiana. Most building has been repair and refurbishment in response to storm damages.
This leaves the existing venues in good position, not finding themselves having to spend every penny they can borrow to stay even with neighboring casinos. A slower pace of expansion is proving healthier to the gaming industry.
Further, the national intolerance of smoking hasn’t hit the area yet. The drop in revenues that follows the imposition of smoking bans is not forcing potential patrons to play at online casinos or at tribal venues.
Lack of new casino projects, combined with state governments that respect the rights of individuals, including smokers, is looking like a formula to success for casinos from Lake Charles through Mississippi.