Monday, May 27, 2024

Data shows Louisiana casino gaming revenues still lag behind pre-COVID numbers

by BIZ Magazine

By Victor Skinner | The Center Square contributor

Louisiana casino gaming revenues in the last half of 2022 continued to lag behind pre-pandemic numbers, with revenues down more than $43 million and remitted fees down $5 million.

Total revenues for land and riverboat casinos from July through December 2022 was $992 million, generating $216 million in remitted fees to the state. During the same time frame in 2019, the casinos took in $1.04 billion, with $222 million in fees remitted.

The difference is a decline of $43 million in revenue, and $5.13 million less in remitted fees, compared to the pre-pandemic figures, according to data from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

Most riverboat casinos were also down in December, compared to the same month the year prior. The biggest drops came from New Orleans riverboats, which were down 23.4% in December 2022 versus December 2021. Baton Rouge riverboats were down 9.1%, while Shreveport/Bossier riverboat revenues were down 6.2%. Lake Charles was the only region where riverboats overall posted higher revenues in December 2022 than December 2021, up 16.1%.

Overall, riverboat casino revenues were down 0.9% in December compared to December 2021. Riverboats collected a total of $858 million in revenues and remitted $184 million in fees from July through December 2022, which was down 2% from the same time frame in 2021, and down 4% from the same months in 2019.

Harrah’s New Orleans Casino, the state’s only land-based casino, generated $22 million in December 2022, which equated to $5 million in fees due. That was down 1.6% from the prior month, but up 3.8% from December 2021.

For July through December 2022, Harrah’s revenue was $133 million, generating $32 million in fees. Those figures were $143 million and $30 million, respectively, for July through December 2019, which puts fees remitted up by 9% but revenues down by 7% compared to 2022. Admissions were also down 27% at Harrah’s over the last six months of 2022 compared to 2019.

The Golden Nugget Lake Charles and L’Auberge Lake Charles riverboats were by far the most visited in December, with admissions at 272,530 and 272,213, respectively. Both took in more than $30 million in revenue, and both contributed about $6.5 million in fees.

The state’s least visited riverboat, Belle of Baton Rouge, reported total admissions of 12,970 in December, with revenues of about $1.1 million and fees of $242,412, LGCB data shows.

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