October was a rebound month for Louisiana casinos and racinos, as the state brought in about $267 million in gaming revenue, a bump of more than $50 million over both September and August.
The exact figure in October, $266,995,788, was a 24.3% increase from September’s total of $214.9 million.
October’s numbers were also a 29.1% gain in a year-over-year comparison to the figures from October 2020, according to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
Hurricane Ida helped to drive numbers down in August and September, with the storm shutting down the Isle Lake Charles casino (it still is out of operation) and halting business for a few days at other facilities.
Until then, over the spring and summer Louisiana made around $300 million a month combined in revenue from racinos (horse racing tracks with slots), riverboat casinos, one land-based casino and video gaming terminals (VGTs). The peak month in 2021 for the Bayou State was in April, at $320.5 million in revenue.
It also helped that October had 31 days; all 13 currently operating riverboat casinos were operating daily, as was the Harrah’s New Orleans land-based casino.
There are no real money online casino options in Louisiana, leaving bettors to make their way to physical casinos, racetracks or VGTs to get some wagering action.
The riverboat casinos combined for $151.3 million in revenue last month, with Golden Nugget in Lake Charles leading at $28.8 million. Another Lake Charles casino, L’Auberge, was second with $26.8 million in October revenue, followed by Margaritaville in Bossier City at $19 million.
Video gaming devices – more than 12,000 of them scattered throughout the state at bars, restaurants, hotels, truck stops and racetrack OTBs – brought in nearly $72.3 million. That was a 31% increase over September’s total of $55.2 million.
The state’s four racinos brought in $26.8 million for the month, a 10.9% boost over September’s $24.2 million. Delta Downs in Vinton made $12.8 million, accounting for nearly half of that total.
Finally, Harrah’s New Orleans had the biggest jump in October, as the land-based casino more than doubled its revenue from the previous month. Harrah’s made $16.6 million, a 108.6% jump over September’s $7.96 million.
Louisiana began taking sports bets at a tribal casino, the Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, in October. The facility has a deal with Betfred Sports to run its sportsbook.
Louisiana was the fourth state where the Betfred Sportsbook opened operations in the U.S. market. The Paragon sportsbook is at The Draft Room sports bar.
The Bayou State has issued 20 temporary retail sports betting licenses statewide. Voters in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes approved the legalization of sports betting in 2020. There are eight retail sportsbooks underway, many of them launching in November.
In the meantime, mobile sports betting in the state is in the works but it might not come to fruition until January.
At a virtual symposium this week, Louisiana Gaming Control Board chairman Ronnie Johns was joined by counterparts in Arizona and Maryland to discuss where they are regarding online sports betting. Johns talked about the deliberate nature of the process in Louisiana. Hurricane Ida slowed that process because police officials that were tasked with vetting applications from sports betting operators were instead steered toward emergency services in the storm’s wake.