he 13 riverboat casinos, Harrah's Entertainment Inc.'s downtown New Orleans casino and the three race track casinos won us$ 193.3 million from players in October. That's down from us$ 207.7 million in October 2008 — the month after the national economic meltdown began. Last month, the riverboats won us$ 132.1 million, the New Orleans casino won us$ 30.7 million and the race track outlets took in us$ 30.5 million.
Still, it was a 2.8 increase from September when the casinos took in us$ 188.1 million. And analysts have said that Louisiana casinos — even with a recession that has sharply cut discretionary spending — have fared much better than most states.
In New Jersey, where double-digit drops had become common, gambling winnings were down 6.5 % in October, compared with October 2008. In Nevada, which also has been seeing double-digit drops, revenue was down 9 % in a September-to-September comparison, while Mississippi recorded a 2.2 % drop from September to September in a comeback from earlier in 2009. Those states have yet to report October figures.
Among the state's casino markets: Shreveport Bossier City, the home of five floating casinos and the Louisiana Downs track casino, took in us$ 58.6 million last month, down from us$ 65.5 million. In addition to the slow economy, that region has been facing increasing competition for Texas gamblers from Oklahoma Indian reservation casinos.
The other market dependent on Texas gamblers, Lake Charles, won us$ 52.9 million last month, up from us$ 47.8 million in October 2008 - a month when both southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana were still trying to overcome the September hurricanes.
The New Orleans market, with two riverboats, the land casino and the Fair Grounds casino, won us$ 54.5 million last month, down slightly from us$ 56.5 million in October 2008. The two boats in Baton Rouge recorded us$ 15.9 million in winnings, a sharp slide from us$ 19.2 million in October 2008.
The Evangeline Downs track casino at Opelousas won us$ 7.6 million in October, down from us$ 8.9 million in October 2008. The lone riverboat near Morgan City took an October slide: from us$ 5.3 million last year to us$ 3.8 million last month.