The trickiest part of revenue growth for any business is how to maintain it. That’s the challenge that gaming establishments have dealt with when it comes to Louisiana gambling revenue. For May of this year, they were unable to meet it.
After consecutive months of improved bottom lines at casinos, racetracks, and video lottery terminal rooms in LA, the climb seems to have peaked. However, the numbers are still superior to their pre-pandemic counterparts.
Louisana gambling revenue from May 2021
Altogether, the four segments of the industry reported over $305.89 million in win during the month. As is usually the case, the 13 riverboat casinos around the state led the way. By segment, the numbers were:
- Riverboat casinos: $168.13 million
- VLT rooms: $77.64 million
- Racino slots: $33.36 million
- Harrah’s New Orleans: $26.75 million
Three of those four segments experienced declines from April of this year. Only Harrah’s New Orleans bucked that trend, actually taking in $1.66 million (about 6.7%) more than it did the previous month. The biggest drop was at the VLT rooms around the state.
Those machines brought in about $84.69 million in April, about 8.3% more than last month. Combined gaming revenue from all sources in April was $320.53 million. Thus, last month’s total was down about 4.6% as compared to the previous month’s.
That decline is a bit of a recent outlier. April’s total was up around 3.4% from March of this year and March represented an impressive 51% improvement from February’s numbers. Thus, the slight decline from April to May is a bit of a surprise, especially given the fact that COVID-19 restrictions for gambling facilities eased during the month.
While maintaining the rate of growth proved unsustainable, getting back to numbers typical for this time of year doesn’t appear too daunting. As a matter of fact, that’s already wrapped up.
May 2021 still topped the same month in 2019
In May of 2019, when COVID-19 restrictions weren’t in existence, the total LA gambling revenue came to about $272.18 million. Thus, even with some of the protocols in place for most of the month, the gaming industry in LA still produced over $30 million more in May 2021.
Other good signs of the industry’s health include the fact that overall, the numbers are on pace to post another year of growth. Of course, 2020 is a low bar for comparison, as several months produced zero revenue due to closures.
Looking at fiscal year-to-date VLT figures from 2019 and comparing them to this year gives an idea of the increase. Through May of 2019, VLTs reported $560.81 million in revenue. The same figure for the same time frame in the current fiscal year is $694.49 million.
2021’s numbers are on pace to beat 2019’s sums and by a healthy margin. As more Louisianans get comfortable with being in these spaces and the activities ongoing inside them again, it could prove to be a banner year for gambling establishments in the state.