BR riverboats post gain

A strong performance at the Belle of Baton Rouge helped Baton Rouge’s three riverboat casinos bring in slightly more money in July than they did the year before.

The riverboats brought in just over $24.1 million in July, compared with $24 million in July 2013, an 0.4 percent gain, according to figures released Thursday by the Louisiana State Police. This snapped a four-month streak in which the local riverboats failed to bring in more money than the year before.

Winnings at the Belle, the city’s oldest riverboat, were up by 10.7 percent over July 2013, to nearly $5.4 million.

L’Auberge, which dominates the Baton Rouge market, had a 0.9 percent drop in revenues, falling from nearly $12.9 million in July 2013 to almost $12.8 million.

Hollywood Casino posted a 4.9 percent drop in revenues, falling from nearly $6.3 million to almost $6 million.

Statewide, the 14 riverboats, four racetrack casinos and Harrah’s land-based casino brought in nearly $213 million in July, slightly better than the $212.6 million last year. This was the second month in a row gambling winnings were up across Louisiana.

Once again, improved business at Harrah’s New Orleans and in the Lake Charles market helped the state beat the July 2013 numbers.

Winnings at the Harrah’s casino were up 12.4 percent last month to top $28.5 million. That offset the declining business at the three riverboat casinos in the New Orleans market, which were down 8.5 percent to nearly $21.9 million. Winnings at the Fair Grounds slots fell by 2.5 percent to nearly $3.6 million.

Even though the gain was modest, this was the second month in a row the New Orleans casino market brought in more money than in 2013.

The two riverboats in Lake Charles were up 5 percent, while the Delta Downs racetrack in Vinton posted a 1.3 percent gain.

The Shreveport-Bossier City market, with six riverboats and slots at the Harrah’s racetrack, was down 4.5 percent. The Opelousas market, represented by the slots at Evangeline Downs, was also down, by 2.7 percent.