Casino revenue in Louisiana slides in November

AP News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2009 5:25 PM

A dour economy and a traditionally slow time for the casino business translated last month into a 16.7 percent drop in gambling revenue from the previous November for Louisiana's state-licensed casinos, state police reported Tuesday.

The 13 riverboat casinos, Harrah's Entertainment Inc.'s downtown New Orleans casino and the four race track casinos took in $179 million in November, down from $214.9 million the previous November.

The double-digit drop reflected similar drops throughout the past year in such casino states as Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois and Mississippi. John Payne, Harrah's central division president, said during a meeting of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board that 2010 likely would "follow the trends of 2009" before a recovery in 2011 and 2012.

The 13 riverboats won $122.8 million in November, down from $149 million the previous November. The downtown New Orleans casino took in $27.9 million, down from $30.9 million in November 2008. The track casinos won $28.3 million in November, down from $35 million the previous November.

Among the state's casino markets:

_ The Shreveport-Bossier City market, which includes four riverboats and the Louisiana Downs casino, took in $57 million last month, down from $65.8 million in November 2008. Payne, whose company owns Louisiana Downs and the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, said competition for Texas gamblers from an increasing number of Indian reservation outlets in Oklahoma had been steep.

_ The Lake Charles market, with three boats, and the Delta Downs casino, won $46.6 million last month, down from $59.3 million in November 2008.

_ The New Orleans market, which also has two riverboats and the Fair Grounds casino, won $50.5 million in November, down from $57.3 million the previous November. Payne said the downtown casino, with about 50 percent of its business coming from outside the area, was feeling the same pinch that had hit such fly-in gambling destinations as Las Vegas.

_ The two riverboats in Baton Rouge won $14.6 million last month, down from $18.7 million the previous November.

_ The lone riverboat near Morgan City took in $3.3 million last month, a 36.5 percent drop from $5.2 million in November 2008.

_ The Evangeline Downs track casino at Opelousas won $7 million in November, down from $8.5 million.

In October, the casinos won $193.3 million.

The figures do not include Louisiana's three Indian reservation casinos, which are not required to report their winnings to the public.