Spring Brings Uptick in Revenue For Louisiana Casinos
Spring is in full bloom for Louisiana casinos.
The four segments of Louisiana’s gaming industry in March combined for more than $300 million in revenue, the first month that the state reached that figure since May 2021.
And if last year was anything to go by, the news could well get even better in the next couple of months.
In all, Louisiana took in $302,435,095 in gaming revenue for March, a 12.8% boost compared to February’s $268.1 million.
Here are three takeaways from March gaming in Louisiana.
All Four Sectors Report Increases
The four components of Louisiana casino gaming – video gaming, racinos (slot machines at horse racing facilities), riverboat casinos and one land-based casino – all had increased revenue in March compared to February, according to numbers reported by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
The biggest rise came at the state’s four racinos, where revenue went from $25.2 million in February to $31.2 million in March, a 23.8% bump. Harrah’s Louisiana Downs almost doubled its intake, increasing from $1.85 million to $3.56 million between February and March.
At more than 12,000 video terminals around the state (with machines in truck stops, hotels, race tracks, bars and restaurants), combined revenue rose 13.9%, from $71.1 million in February to nearly $81 million in March.
The land-based casino, Harrah’s New Orleans, saw an increase of 13.1% to $22.8 million in March, from $20.2 million the month before.
And riverboat casinos reported a 10.4% increase in numbers. The 13 operating riverboat casinos combined for $167.43 million in adjusted gross revenue, compared to $151.65 million in February.
There are no real money online casino options available in the Bayou State.
Pattern Could Repeat 2021
March 2021 was the start of a strong three-month spring stretch for Louisiana casinos and racinos.
In that month, the state took in $309.75 million in revenue, starting a streak of three consecutive months over $300 million. Those were the three best months of 2021 for Louisiana’s gaming industry.
That winning run peaked in April 2021 with $320.5 million in revenue.
So, while the year-over-year comparison is down slightly (about $7.3 million less in March 2022 than in March 2021), in general spring leads to a surge in the state’s gaming interest.
We will see if last month will spark a similar peak in 2022.
Sports Betting Handle Decline Is Surprising
The one surprising bit of news out of Louisiana for March was in sports betting.
Since mobile sports betting launched in Louisiana in late January, the activity has grown massively. In state after state that makes it possible for folks to bet on sports from anywhere, the online market owns anywhere from 60% to 98% of the share of sports betting dollars wagered. Louisiana has been no exception, with $205.75 million wagered via mobile in March and nearly $27 million bet at retail outlets.
But the surprise came in a month-over-month comparison. Almost all states have had sports betting handle rise in March compared to February, thanks mostly to the NCAA Basketball Tournament action, but that did not happen in Louisiana. In the Bayou State, total sports betting handle was $232.73 million in March, a 2.4% decrease from February ($238.4 million).
Of the 12 states that have reported March figures so far, Oregon is the only one besides Louisiana in which sports betting handle fell between February and March. And betting on college events is illegal in Oregon so that state got no bump from March Madness.
The sports betting revenue in Louisiana rose 74.3%, from $17.3 million in February to $30.1 million in March.
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.