Along with homes, trees and electricity, Hurricane Ida blew away a lot of September casino revenue in New Orleans. But profits in the rest of Louisiana seemingly offset the losses to the tune of an overall 28% gain from a year ago. That’s somewhat of a relief after an over $3 million drop in August.
However, month-to-month revenue from August to September — both months affected by the tropical storm — didn’t significantly shift.
According to figures released by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, statewide gross gaming revenue (GGR) reached $159.7 million in September.
No luck for NOLA as overall Louisiana gaming revenue surges
The Category 4 hurricane left behind a September loss of $7.2 million in New Orleans as compared to the same month in 2020.
That’s a drop of 21.4% for the combined GGR of gaming entities in the city. Harrah’s New Orleans, which was closed for a week around Ida, experienced a 42.1% drop from September 2020. In addition, two of the city’s three riverboats suffered year-over-year losses.
Dollar figures in millions (Source: Louisiana Gaming Control Board/nola.com)
- Boomtown: $7,893,902 (down 0.6% year over year)
- Treasure Chest: $5,752,521 (down 11.5%)
- Amelia Belle: $2,947,842 (up 16.2%)
Revenue from slot machine play at the Fair Grounds resulted in just over $1.9 million but reflected a 35.1% plummet year over year.
Lake Charles riverboat casinos see skyrocketing revenue
Lake Charles, on the other hand, led Louisiana’s gaming regions for the month with a whopping overall 181% one-year increase. In fact, L’Auberge Casino Resort led all Louisiana casinos with nearly $26.6 million in gross gaming revenue.
That’s even counting the recently renamed Isle of Capri-Lake Charles riverboat, which has been out of commission since Hurricane Laura displaced it in 2020.
Losses resulting from that same storm last year, though, may at least partially account for the huge jump this year.
- Golden Nugget: $22,641,344 (up 156.5% year over year)
- Delta Downs: $12,062,372 (up 108%)
- L’Auberge: $26,563,962 (up 274.4%)
Baton Rouge, Shreveport casino revenue regresses to the mean
After a healthy increase in August, Baton Rouge’s Hollywood Casino revenues sank a little, down by 3.5% year over year. The other gaming properties in the capital city fared better, however, bringing an overall citywide increase of 2%:
- Hollywood Casino: $4,394,989 (down 3.5% year over year)
- Belle of Baton Rouge: $1,426,330 (up 13.5%)
- L’Auberge: $13,304,593 (up 2.8%)
Shreveport-Bossier trailed Lake Charles and Baton Rouge with an overall increase of 0.6%.
- Eldorado: $7,860,451 (up 15.53% year over year)
- Margaritaville: $16,579,633 (up 10.9%)
- Boomtown: $4,068,282 (up 6.2%)
- Horseshoe: $10,732,793 (down 14.5%)
- Sam’s Town: $3,379,344 ( down 23.9%)
And Evangeline Downs in Opelousas landed in the middle, jumping 13.3% in revenue to $6.46 million in slot play.
Overall, the state’s riverboats saw the biggest increase, followed by racinos and then video gaming.
For Louisiana, ‘twas the season to be wet and windy
Obviously, New Orleans’ dwindling September figures result from the battering the city and its people took from Hurricane Ida. Ida’s 150 mph winds made June’s Hurricane Claudette’s substantial winds of 45 mph look like a spring breeze in contrast.
Five hurricanes have hit the state in the past five years. Two of them, Laura and Ida, were among the most powerful tropical storms to ever hit it. But for 2021 at least, Louisianans may be able to relax a bit where hurricanes are concerned.
Ben Schott, chief meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s New Orleans station and a hurricane season adviser to Gov. John Bel Edwards, has said, “The likelihood of tropical activity for us is dropping off fast.”
Louisiana’s hurricane season officially ended Oct. 31.