Report: Spending at Louisiana casinos held steady in 2011
Spending at casinos was flat in 2011 compared with 2010 in Louisiana, the only state among the top 10 casino markets to report neither a gain nor a loss in the year, The Times-Picayune reports. Gamblers left $2.37 billion at Louisiana casinos in 2011, an amount identical to the prior year's casino winnings. Despite the stagnation, Louisiana's consumer spending total allowed it to overtake neighboring Mississippi, where visitor spending fell 6.3% in the year to $2.24 billion. The figures were released Wednesday in the annual "State of the States" report, issued by the American Gaming Association. Nationwide, spending at commercial casinos rose 3%, to $35.64 billion, compared with 2010. The news is an improvement over results from 2008 and 2009, when spending fell consecutively, and those of 2010, when it was relatively unchanged from the prior year. As for Louisiana's flat year in 2011, AGA President and CEO Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. says it’s hard to pinpoint a cause of the state's sluggishness. "Gaming is not monolithic," Fahrenkopf says. "It depends a great deal on the region and the type of market that we're talking about. Some jurisdictions just had great years, while others were flat. It just depends on where they're located." The report also says Louisiana added 334 jobs in 2011 at its 13 riverboat casinos, four racetrack casinos and Harrah's New Orleans—an increase of 2%. Last year, the state reported a loss of 737 casino jobs. Three Louisiana cities—Shreveport at No. 12, Lake Charles at No. 13, and New Orleans at No. 15—were among the top 20 casino markets last year. You can see the complete 44-page report here for more details.
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