n March 2009, those casinos took in us$ 218 million. The latest figure was down a bit from the Mardi Gras month of February 2010 when gamblers lost us$ 208.7 million.
Although the post-recession casino take is improving, Louisiana's gambling business still shows signs of a long-term trend downward in the amount of money won. For example, in March 2008, before the economic meltdown, the casinos won us$ 229.6 million.
Last week, Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. scrapped plans for a second casino-hotel in Lake Charles, saying it would instead concentrate on improvements at its existing L'Auberge Du Lac gambling resort in that city. Las Vegas-based Pinnacle still plans to develop a new riverboat casino in Baton Rouge.
The move put Louisiana into the category of other casino states - including Nevada and Mississippi - that have seen major projects delayed or canceled following the recession.
Among the state's casino markets last month:
Shreveport-Bossier City, with five riverboats and the Louisiana Downs track casino, took in us$ 67.7 million last month, down slightly from us$ 69.4 million in March 2009. That market is heavily dependent upon out-of-staters, particularly from Texas, who are getting an increasing number of gambling options at Indian nation casinos in Oklahoma.
The Texas-oriented Lake Charles market, with three riverboats and the Delta Downs track casino, won us$ 54.9 million last month, down from us$ 58.9 million in March 2009. L'Auberge Du Lac kept its place as the top-grossing riverboat with $28.1 million in winnings.
The New Orleans market, with two riverboats, the land casino and the Fair Grounds track casino won us$ 54.9 million last month, down from us$ 58.4 million in March 2009. The two riverboats in the Baton Rouge market won us$ 16.8 million last month, down from us$ 18.9 million in March 2009.
The lone riverboat in the Morgan City area won us$ 4.3 million last month, down from us$ 4.6 million in March 2009. The Evangeline Downs track casino took in us$ 7.9 million last month, down from us$ 8.7 million in March 2009.
The figures do not include the state's three Indian reservation casinos, which are not required to report their winnings to the public.