- Associated Press - Friday, June 20, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana’s 21 casinos took in $202.5 million statewide in May, nearly even with winnings from a year earlier. The total dipped $317,000 - one-tenth of one percentage point down from May 2013.

Revenues rose over the year only at three of Louisiana’s four race track slots casinos and the Belle of Baton Rouge riverboat, the smallest of three in its market. It took in $5.7 million, up 6.4 percent.

Winnings fell in four of six markets: 5.2 percent in New Orleans, 3.3 percent in Baton Rouge, 3.1 percent in Lake Charles and 8.3 percent at Morgan City’s single casino, the Amelia Belle.

The $11.4 million take at Margaritaville, Louisiana’s newest riverboat, boosted the Shreveport-Bossier market’s total 8.7 percent, even though revenues fell at the area’s five other riverboat casinos and its race track casino.

Since Margaritaville opened June 13, 2013, it has no one-year comparison. However, both its take and share of the area’s riverboat casino market have fallen a bit since its first full month. It won $12.3 million and 20.4 percent of all winnings at area riverboats in July 2013, compared to 18.4 percent last month.

Gamblers from casino-less Texas helped keep the western markets Louisiana’s biggest. Northwest Louisiana casinos raked in $67.2 million and those in the Lake Charles area got $56.9 million.

Totals were $51.7 million in the New Orleans area, $25.1 million in Baton Rouge, $8.4 million at the Evangeline Downs race track casino in Opelousas and $4.6 million in Morgan City.

Evangeline Downs’ winnings rose 2.8 percent from a year earlier. At Delta Downs in southwest Louisiana, casino revenues rose 1.1 percent, to $17.3 million. Winnings rose nine-tenths of a percentage point at the Fair Grounds track in New Orleans, to $3.7 million, while plummeting 15.3 percent, to $5.4 million, at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs in Bossier City.

Harrah’s New Orleans, the state’s only land-based casino, took in $28.8 million, down 3.3 percent from a year earlier. The market’s biggest loser was Boomtown, down 12.5 percent to $10 million.

May revenues fell 5.1 percent to 21.3 percent from a year earlier at northwest Louisiana’s five older riverboats. Horseshoe, the biggest, took in $18.8 million - 30.4 percent of the total for all six boats but down 5.6 percent from a year earlier. Its take per player was the state’s highest, at $149.

The only other casinos with triple-figure losses per admission were L’Auberge Baton Rouge at just under $105, Delta Downs, at $104, and Boomtown in suburban New Orleans, at $100. The statewide average was $79.

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