he state’s 13 riverboats, Harrah’s New Orleans land casino and the four slot machine-only casinos won us$ 222 million last month, down from us$ 236 million in February 2008, but almost identical to the us$ 222.2 million gamblers lost in January.
The riverboats won us$ 153.4 million last month, the land casino took in us$ 31.4 million and the four slot machine casinos at race tracks added us$ 37.2 million to the take.
February of 2008 fell in a leap year, meaning there was one more day in the month. Also that month included parts of five weekends. Harrah’s New Orleans won a record us$ 37.7 million in February 2008, fueled not only by Mardi Gras but the city’s hosting of the NBA All-Star Game. Harrah’s won us$ 31.4 million last month.
Louisiana’s casino revenue has been holding steady in defiance of many national trends in gambling states such as Nevada and New Jersey. Next door, in Mississippi, play has been recovering following hurricane rebuilding of coastal casinos, the opening of Indian reservation casinos and race track casinos in Florida and the deep recession that has cut tourism.
In January, the latest month for which figures are available, Mississippi casinos took in us$ 221 million compared to us$ 204.3 million in December. Compared to January 2008, however, statewide revenues were down only us$ 3 million.
Among Louisiana’s casino markets: In Shreveport-Bossier City, which includes five dockside casinos and the Louisiana Downs track casino, gamblers lost us$ 70.9 million last month, down from us$ 75.7 million in February 2008. That market has been facing strong competition for Texas gamblers from Oklahoma Indian reservation casinos.
In Lake Charles, the three riverboats and the Delta Downs track casino won us$ 56.6 million, up slightly from us$ 55.8 million in February 2008. That market also is heavily dependent on gamblers from Texas, where the legislature is currently considering the legalization of casinos.
In the New Orleans market, which includes two riverboats and the Fair Grounds track casino in addition to Harrah’s, gamblers lost us$ 59 million, down from us$ 66.5 million a year ago. The two riverboats in Baton Rouge won us$ 20.8 million last month, down a bit from us$ 21.5 million in February 2008. The lone riverboat in the Morgan City area, the Amelia Belle, won us$ 5.3 million in February, up from us$ 4.9 million in February 2008.
The Evangeline Downs track casino at Opelousas won us$ 9.4 million last month, down from us$ 9.6 million in February 2008. Not included in the report are the tallies from the three Indian reservation casinos in Louisiana, which are not required to report their winnings to the public.