In October, Louisiana casinos raked in revenue like autumn leaves. Most properties declared an increase over the same month last year.
Even with the continuing pandemic and another damaging hurricane season, the month of October saw a healthy comeback. Revenue amounted to $194.7 million from $152.3 million the previous year, a one-year increase of 21.8%.
The Amelia Belle in New Orleans was the percentage-point star with a 69.6% increase from $2.3 million in Oct. 2020 to $3.9 million this year.
NOLA bounces back
After bearing the brunt of late August’s Hurricane Ida and the ensuing Sept. revenue plunge, things are looking up again in New Orleans. We are seeing casino revenues increasing year-over-year at 38%.
Dollar figures in millions:
- Harrah’s: $16.6 (up 19.3%)
- Boomtown: $11.7 (up 57.9%)
- Treasure Chest: $9.0 (up 47.2%)
- Fairgrounds: $3.7 (up 32.7%)
Baton Rouge getting better all the time
Baton Rouge continued making up lost ground with a 26.2% jump to $23.1 million from $18.3 million.
- L’Auberge: $16.3 (up 26.4%)
- Holllywood Casino: $5.4 (up 30.9%)
- Belle of Baton Rouge $1.4 (up 9%)
Lake Charles: down one casino but up in revenue
This summer the riverboat Isle of Capri Casino was sold to Laguna Development Corporation following its Aug. 2020 run-in with Hurricane Laura. After the damage caused by the hurricane, the new owner Caesars delayed plans to move the casino, renamed as Horseshoe onto land. Nonetheless, Lake Charles casino revenue went up 37.1% from $49.9 million in Oct. 2020 to $68.4 million last month.
- Golden Nugget: $28.8 (up 31.1%)
- L’Auberge $26.8 (up 63.1%)
- Delta Downs: $12.8 (up 11.1%)
Shreveport-Bossier City ups and downs
The good news is this market saw an 11.9% year-over-year climb from $46.3 million to $51.8 million. The bad news, it hosts the only two casinos that experienced a downturn last month.
- Margaritaville: $19.0 (up 28.5%)
- Boomtown: $4.3 (up 9.3%)
- Harrah’s: $3.8 (up 20%)
- Eldorado: $8.6 (up 15.3%)
- Horseshoe: $12.6 (down 8.6%)
- Sam’s Town: $3.6 (down 15.1%)
In Opelousas, Evangeline Downs brought in $6.6 million, up 24.4%.
The why factors
In Oct. of 2020, pandemic restrictions, including capacity caps and hurricanes affected monthly revenue totals across casinos in LA. This Oct, it was Hurricane Ida that did so in New Orleans. Despite the city getting pummeled by a category 4 tropical storm, revenues increased overall.
Hurricane season is over for this year, having officially ended on Oct. 31. Also, on Halloween, the mask mandate ended across LA. Although many local casinos continue to require mask-wearing within their facility. Patrons should check with casinos before arriving to ensure proper guidelines.
Long-awaited sports betting finally launched in Oct. and is available at these nine LA casinos:
- L’Auberge, Baton Rouge
- Boomtown Casino, Horseshoe and Margaritaville, Bossier City
- Golden Nugget and L’Auberge, Lake Charles
- Paragon Casino Resort, Marksville
- Boomtown and Harrah’s, New Orleans
Casino revenue increases in LA may be due in part to the state’s progress in dealing with Covid. As of Dec. 3, the state ranked as having the lowest Covid hospitalization rate in the country, tied with Hawaii. Furthermore, New Orleans has an adult vaccination rate of 75%.
Given all that, it will be interesting to see revenue figures for Nov. Stay tuned for additional findings.