L’Auberge dominates Belle, Hollywood
Baton Rouge casino revenue dropped to $20.9 million in September, 17 percent less than the $25.2 million posted for September 2012 — the first figures that reflect a full year as a three-riverboat market.
The much-hyped L’Auberge casino opened in September 2012, attracting gamblers to immediately make an impact by raking in more than its two competitors combined and growing the Baton Rouge market’s total revenue by 69 percent above September 2011’s $14.8 million.
With the latest figures, Baton Rouge is still a bigger market in Louisiana, but the growth margin has slimmed to 41 percent higher than September 2011 when Baton Rouge was a two-boat market.
L’Auberge has continued to dominate the Belle of Baton Rouge and Hollywood Casino, but all three saw year-over-year decreases in winnings last month.
In fact, the Baton Rouge market suffered the largest percentage decrease, although all of the state’s casino markets saw lower revenue last month, according to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board report released Wednesday.
Statewide, the take by riverboat casinos fell 9.5 percent to $128.3 million.
“The regional markets have been challenged this year. What we’re seeing in Louisiana this month is not uncommon across the country,” said Randall Fine, managing director of casino management and consultant firm The Fine Point Group.
A sluggish economy and the end of the Social Security payroll tax holiday at the end of 2012 are among the reasons people are gambling less, Fine said. Those higher taxes mean people have less money.
For casinos, medium to high single-digit drops in revenue have been common in 2013, Fine said.
L’Auberge’s gambling revenue fell to $11 million, 17.2 percent below the $13.3 million the casino reported during its first month of operations a year ago. Hollywood Casino’s September revenue dropped 26 percent to $5.4 million, while the Belle of Baton Rouge’s dipped 0.7 percent to $4.5 million.
Of the state’s riverboat casinos, only the Isle of Capri Lake Charles reported higher revenue.
Meanwhile, revenue for New Orleans’ land-based casino and riverboats also dipped in September. Harrah’s Casino reported revenue of $23.9 million, down 5.5 percent from a year ago.
Boomtown Casino’s revenue dropped 12.4 percent to $8.7 million, and Treasure Chest Casino slipped 13.2 percent to $7.6 million.
Casino revenue in the Shreveport-Bossier City area dipped 3.2 percent to $50 million. The Lake Charles area casinos saw revenue fall 12 percent to $37.1 million.