Gaming bounces back, with Baton Rouge casino revenue up almost 16%

Baton Rouge casino revenue increased 15.7% from August to September, according to the latest report to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

The report indicates recovery from storms and the COVID-19 pandemic for a sector that is a major source of state revenue.

“The Baton Rouge market appears to be holding its own,” board Chairman Ronnie Johns said at this week’s meeting. “If we can do away with hurricanes and pandemics in our state, we would really be looking pretty good.”

In September, the month following Hurricane Ida, the Belle of Baton Rouge saw revenue increase almost 38% month-to-month, while L’Auberge Baton Rouge was up more than 22%. Hollywood Baton Rouge was down 5%.

The Baton Rouge market was up 2% in September compared to September 2020. New Orleans was down by about the same amount and Shreveport/Bossier had nearly identical revenue year-over-year.

But the state as a whole was up year-over-year by more than 35%, driven by a spike of more than 207% in Lake Charles. That increase, which happened despite the closure of Isle of Capri, can be attributed to the effect Hurricane Laura had on the Lake Charles area last year. Isle of Capri, which had its floating barge damaged by Laura, is set to reopen next year as Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles.

Casino operators hope to get a boost from legalized sports betting, which regulators say could begin next month.

This story originally appeared in an Oct. 22 edition of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.

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