Louisiana Casinos Win More as State Emerges from COVID-19, Weather Woes   

Posted on: May 20, 2021, 04:44h. 

Last updated on: July 19, 2021, 03:11h.

After a pandemic-related economic slump and months of bad weather, many Louisiana casinos in April saw an increase in gaming revenue.

Harrah's New Orleans
Flags flutter during a daytime breeze at Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel and Casino. The resort earned more in casino wins during April than in March. (Image: The Advocate)

The 13 riverboat casinos, one land-based casino in New Orleans, and four racinos won $235.8 million in April. That is a 4.8 percent increase over the March total of $225.1 million.

These percentages, reported on the New Orleans newspaper website nola.com, are based on figures the Louisiana Gaming Control Board released this week.

In the New Orleans area, casinos were up almost 7 percent, reporting a total win of $55.1 million.

Harrah’s New Orleans collected $25.1 million in April, up 11.7 percent from the March total of $22.4 million

The riverboat casinos in the New Orleans area reported uneven results in April, with some doing better than others.

For instance, Boomtown New Orleans earned $12.9 million in April, up 4.5 percent from the previous month’s total of $12.4 million. The riverboat is in Harvey, La., south of downtown New Orleans, on the opposite side of the Mississippi River. 

The New Orleans-area Treasure Chest Casino was down from $9.1 million in March to $8.8 million in April, a decline of 2.9 percent. The casino is at Lake Pontchartrain in Kenner, La., northwest of downtown New Orleans. 

Baton Rouge Casino Leads State

Results also were mixed in other parts of the state. No casino in Louisiana had a larger percentage increase in April than L’Auberge Baton Rouge. The riverboat casino is just south of the capital city and the Louisiana State University campus. It went from $15.1 million in March to almost $18 million in April, an 18.9 percent increase, according to nola.com.

However, gaming revenue at Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge fell by 0.2 percent in April. The property reported $13,412 less in revenue than the March total of $6.6 million, nola.com reported. The riverboat is on the Mississippi River near the state Capitol building, north of downtown.

West of Baton Rouge, the riverboat casinos in Lake Charles saw an increase in April, including a 5.2 percent boost at L’Auberge Lake Charles. The resort went from $30 million March to $31.6 million one month later.

In Vinton, La., the Delta Downs Racetrack Hotel and Casino experienced a decline of 2.9 percent, dropping from $17.2 million in March to $16.7 million in April. The racetrack is west of Lake Charles near the Texas border.

Winter Setback

After operating for months with COVID-19 capacity limits, casinos at the end of March were allowed to remove occupancy restrictions, according to nola.com. 

Wade Duty, executive director of the Louisiana Casino Association, told the newspaper website that it might take time for this change to impact casinos. Some properties needed time to take slot machines and table games out of storage and put them back into play.

In South Louisiana, casinos began to regain their footing after a record number of hurricanes clobbered the region last year, requiring resorts to close temporarily.

The deadly hurricane season was followed in February by a deep freeze that paralyzed much of the country, including states in the South. 

Some Louisiana casinos were closed for up to three days in this severe winter weather. Icy roads and closed bridges kept many customers away, even from casinos that remained open during plunging temperatures. This contributed to a decline in casino wins compared to the previous February.