New Orleans Outperforms State in Casino Wins in May - FanDuel News

Olufifun Adeleke

Casino revenue within the New Orleans area recovered from months of COVID-19 related tourism decline to top the state in May. According to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, casinos in New Orleans brought in 2.2% more revenue in May than they did in April, moving up from $55.1 million to $56.3 million. Casino properties in the New Orleans region include a land-based casino, three riverboat casinos, and one racino.

New Orleans’ land-based Harrah’s casino experienced the biggest rise in revenue between April and May - 6.7%, from $25.1 million to $26.8 million. Revenue from the Treasure Chest riverboat casino based in Kenner went up from $8.8 million in April to $9.6 million in May, a 3.9 percent rise. Not every property in the state reported an increase in revenue, however. Harvey’s Boomtown riverboat casino experienced a drop of 3.2%, making $12.5 million in May from April’s $12.9 million. 

There was a month-to-month 3.2% drop in the total gaming revenue made by the state, with $235 million pulled in for April compared to May’s $228 million. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board's figures revealed that the total revenue came from the properties in the New Orleans region, ten more riverboat casinos, and three racinos across the state.

Breakdown of Louisiana Gaming Revenue Numbers

The Horseshoe riverboat casino in Bossier City recorded the largest overall percentage increase in the state, rising 8.2 percent from April’s $16.3 million to $17.6 million in May. Sam’s Town riverboat casino experienced a 3.6% rise in gaming revenue, from $5.9 million to $6.1 million. 

The Boomtown riverboat casino in Bossier City recorded a bigger loss than its Harvey counterpart, going down 9.2 percent from $5.5 million in April to $5 million in May. At 7.2%, the Golden Nugget riverboat casino in the southwestern Lake Charles region of the state experienced the second-largest percentage decline in revenue, going from $31.8 million in April to $29.5 million in May. 

Figures put up by the other casinos in the state are as follows:

  • L’Auberge Baton Rouge - 0.9 percent rise from $18 million to $18.2 million. 
  • Delta Downs, Vinton - 0.9 percent fall from $16.7 million to $16.6 million. 
  • Amelia Belle Casino - 1 percent fall
  • Eldorado Resort Casino, Shreveport - 1.9 percent drop from $12.9 million to $12.7 million. 
  • Margaritaville Resort Casino, Bossier City - 4.4 percent drop from $19.8 million to $19 million
  • Harrah's Louisiana Downs, Bossier City - 6 percent drop, from $5.1 million to $4.8 million.
  • The Fair Grounds, New Orleans - 8.2 percent drop from $4.5 million to $4.2 million. 
  • Evangeline Downs, Opelousas - 8.8 percent drop, from $8.6 million to $7.8 million. 
  • Hollywood Casino, Baton Rouge - 12.7 percent drop, from $6.5 million to $5.7 million. 
  • The Belle, Baton Rouge - 12.7 percent drop, from $1.8 million to $1.6 million. 
  • L'Auberge, Lake Charles - 13.6 percent drop, from $31.6 million to $27.3 million.

Tourism and COVID-19 Impact on Louisiana Casino Revenue

Back in May, Louisiana state eased the compulsory mask rules, and nearly all the other restrictions passed to curb the spread of the virus. A couple of days after, New Orleans paved the way for live entertainment and lifted its mandatory mask regulation. The city, which relies strongly on tourism for its gaming market, still has to deal with a few COVID-19 restrictions. Some of the biggest restaurants in the region remain closed, while venue capacities remain limited based on vaccination requirements.  

Gaming revenue in New Orleans is directly tied to tourism within the city, and it is believed that as more tourists are allowed into the city, revenue will pick up. Those hopes were somewhat damaged by the announcement that the Jazz Fest, a traditionally strong tourism hotspot, will now hold further down the line in October, as opposed to its normal April-May slot. 

Gaming operators in the state anticipate that the full legalization of sports betting in the state will increase their revenues, following Gov. John Bel Edwards's approval of the state bill that would allow sports betting in 55 parishes. If all goes quickly, operators will be able to count on sports betting by the time football season returns in the fall.

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