L’Auberge lifts BR casino revenue

Advocate staff photo by LIBBY ISENHOWER -- L'Auberge Casino and Hotel Baton Rouge had its best attendance during its first month of operation in September. A report from state regulators on Thursday showed its second-best attendance last month, when the casino took in $11.7 million or nearly half the winnings in the market.
Advocate staff photo by LIBBY ISENHOWER -- L'Auberge Casino and Hotel Baton Rouge had its best attendance during its first month of operation in September. A report from state regulators on Thursday showed its second-best attendance last month, when the casino took in $11.7 million or nearly half the winnings in the market.

The Baton Rouge casino market continued to get a lift from the L’Auberge Casino and Hotel last month, while Louisiana’s state-licensed casinos overall were down $6.6 million to $226.9 million in winnings from gamblers compared with February 2012.

L’Auberge continued to draw about double the attendance of either of the city’s other two casinos. However, attendance at both the Belle of Baton Rouge, at 71,909, and the Hollywood Casino, at 74,142, was the highest since L’Auberge opened in September, according to figures posted Thursday by state regulators.

L’Auberge had 152,639 customers in February — its highest total since its opening month when it drew 167,281.

L’Auberge’s take was $11.7 million, nearly half the $24.1 million gamblers lost in the three-boat Baton Rouge market in February. That was 25.8 percent more than last year’s two-boat total.

The Belle’s take dropped 33.3 percent to $4.9 million in February from $7.3 million a year earlier. Hollywood’s take dropped 36.1 percent to $7.6 million from $11.9 million in February 2012.

Overall, the 13 state-licensed riverboat casinos took in $159.9 million — down 9.7 percent from February 2012. Slot-machine casinos at four race tracks took in $35.2 million. That was 5.4 percent below their revenue a year earlier. The biggest one-year percentage drop was 18.4 percent — $1.8 million — at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City.

Harrah’s land-based casino in New Orleans took in $31.7 million in February — 9.7 percent more than a year earlier.

Harrah’s, the slot machine casino at Delta Downs race track in Vinton, and the Isle of Capri riverboat casino in Lake Charles were the only casinos doing better than in February 2012.

Delta Downs won nearly $16.5 million in February, up $404,900 from a year earlier.

Although the Isle of Capri’s revenue rose from just under $10 million a year ago to $10.7 million last month, Isle of Capri Casinos Inc.’s total revenues in Lake Charles fell.

That’s because it has since sold its license for the Grand Palais, which took in $2.8 million a year ago in that market.

The Lake Charles market, also including Delta Downs and L’Auberge Lake Charles, took in $52.8 million, which was 7.3 percent below a year earlier.

Shreveport-Bossier, with five riverboats and a race track, remained the largest total market at $61 million. That was down 10.9 percent from February 2012.

New Orleans casinos won $56.3 million, down 2 percent from a year ago — the smallest one-year drop in any market.

The Amelia Belle in Morgan city won $4.6 million, down 5 percent from February 2012.

The slots at the Evangeline Downs race track took in nearly $8 million, 18.4 percent below the total a year earlier.