La. casinos show strong gains; L’Auberge lifts BR

Louisiana’s state-licensed casinos took in $192.9 million from gamblers in November, a strong improvement from the $175.3 million in November 2011, according to a report that shows the initial swell in the Baton Rouge gambling market appears to have remained intact through the third month of L’Auberge Casino & Hotel’s operation.

Casino revenue figures released by State Police on Tuesday show the Baton Rouge numbers have held steady, though L’Auberge’s take has declined to $11.6 million in November, compared with $13.3 million in September, it’s first month of operation.

The entire market, which consists of three riverboats: L’Auberge, the Belle of Baton Rouge and Hollywood Casino, was $23.1 million, up $9 million from the $14.1 million pulled in with just the Belle and Hollywood in November 2011.

In September, the local market was up $10.9 million, or 69 percent, as the newly opened L’Auberge casino drew in its share of gamblers from outside the area.

The $9 million increase in November represents a 64 percent increase in the market from November 2011.

Internally, the numbers indicate that L’Auberge may be pulling more from Hollywood than from the Belle.

The Belle’s take was $4.6 million in November, down only slightly from $4.7 million in November 2011. Hollywood, on the other hand, pulled in $6.9 million, down 27 percent compared with $9.4 million the year before.

Gamblers lost $28.5 million at the only state-licensed land casino, Harrah’s in New Orleans. It was a 36 percent improvement over the $21 million the casino won in November 2011.

The state’s 13 riverboat casinos took in a total of just under $132.7 million in November, up from $124.6 million in November 2011.

The slot casinos at the state’s four horse race tracks — Delta Downs at Vinton, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs at Bossier City, Evangeline Downs in St. Landry Parish and The Fair Grounds in New Orleans — collected $31.7 million in November, up from $29.7 million for November of last year.

The most robust riverboat casino market in the state was the five-boat Shreveport-Bossier area, where gamblers dropped nearly $51.4 million last month.

It was followed by the Lake Charles market, where the two boats took in $35.3 million; the Baton Rouge market with $23 million; and three New Orleans area riverboats with a combined $22.9 million.

The State Police figures do not include Indian reservation casinos in Louisiana, which are not required to report their winnings to the public.

Associated Press writer
Kevin McGill and Advocate business writer Chad Calder contributed to this report.