Louisiana Has Down Month in June for Casino Revenue
Louisiana is sweltering in the summer, and that might be a factor in casino action cooling off.
The revenue at Louisiana casinos and racinos in June added up to $265 million across four sectors, down 4.2% from the $276.7 million reported in May.
The June figure was the lowest in the state for the four categories combined — land-based casino, riverboat casinos, slots at racetracks (racinos) and video terminals — since January, when the state took in $253.7 million.
Last month’s revenue was also down by about $27 million compared to June 2021, when the statewide total hit $294.95 million.
However, the news was better in terms of a comparison between the 2021-22 fiscal year, which ended in June, against FY 2020-21.
Meanwhile, sports betting also declined in June, a typical development nationwide in a slow sports month.
Louisiana has not made real money online casinos a legal reality yet.
Here are three takeaways from Louisiana gaming for June.
Three of Four Sectors Experience Monthly Decline
The only component of Louisiana gaming to have a rise in revenue compared to May was the state’s lone land-based emporium, the Harrah’s New Orleans Casino. That facility reported $21 million in revenue for June, according to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, a 1.2% rise from the previous month’s $20.75 million.
The largest drop in a month-over-month comparison came at racinos, which reported an 8.3% decline, from $29.58 million in May to $27.11 million last month.
Video game terminals (VGTs) took in $64.9 million in June, down 6.5% from May’s $69.4 million. More than 12,000 of the machines are available at hotels, bars, restaurants, truck stops and racetrack OTBs throughout Louisiana.
And the 13 riverboat casinos operating in The Bayou State combined for nearly $152 million in revenue last month, a 3.2% decline from about $157 million in May.
Fiscal Year Figures Rise in Louisiana
For the 2021-22 fiscal year, the riverboat casinos combined for a bit over $1.8 billion in revenue, a 12% increase over the $1.62 billion recorded in the 2020-21 fiscal year, which ended in June 2021.
The Harrah’s New Orleans Casino experienced a 7% rise, from $213.2 million in 2020-21 to $228.3 million in the fiscal year just concluded.
Racino revenue rose 3%, from $321.5 million to almost $330 million, and VGTs rose 8% to $829.3 million in the 2021-22 FY.
The new 2022-23 fiscal year began July 1.
Louisiana Sports Betting Latest
A summer swoon in sports betting is nothing to worry about, even in a state where wagering on such events is legal for the first time.
Throughout the country, markets with legal, regulated sports betting record their lowest months for handle (or amount bet) at this time of year, when there is no NFL or college football.
That applies just as much if not more in football-mad Louisiana, where the Saints and LSU Tigers tend to dominate sports interest and will certainly generate tons of action when those games are legal to bet on online for the first time in the upcoming fall season.
The handle in the state at online and retail sportsbooks combined was $132.4 million in June, a 22.6% drop from $171.1 million in May. Online wagering on sports continued to dominate as it has since that portion of the market launched in January, with mobile operators taking 86% of the bets made in the state (Louisiana retail sports betting began in October 2021).
The revenue declined even more, falling 57.7%, from $25.33 million the previous month to about $10.7 million in June.
Jim Tomlin has more than 30 years of experience in sports journalism as an editor and writer. He has covered pro and college sports from football, baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, motorsports and more for publications such as the Tampa Bay Times, SaturdayDownSouth.com, SaturdayTradition.com and FanRag Sports. He now lends his expertise to TopUSCasinos.com, among other duties.