Louisiana gaming revenue begins seasonal swoon

Nov 28, 2000 1:31 AM

The last quarter of any year is the low point for Louisiana casino gaming revenues. For October, revenue for the 13 riverboat casinos was $115.5 million, down about $10 million from September. In October 1999, revenue was $120 million, representing an anticipated downturn this year, as last month included four weekends, while last year, there were five weekends in October.

As usual the Shreveport/Bossier City marketplace led the way with revenues of over $54 million, down from $60 million for the month previous.

Harrah’s New Orleans joined those on the slumping revenue list for October. The Big casino at the foot of Canal Street generated $21.1 million about $2.6 million less than September.

The three New Orleans casino vessels had gaming revenues of $20.8 million for October. In October 1999 the numbers were quite higher for the New Orleans riverboats at $26.5 million when they did not compete with Harrah’s.

Ole Miss stats

October revenue from Mississippi’s 30 dockside casinos hit $219.6 million, up from the $215.6 million for the previous month. The river counties saw their revenue continue to fall to the lowest level of the year at $125.6 million.

The Gulf Coast got an upward tick in revenues to $94 million versus $88.5 million for September. Overall, the state has generated casino revenues of $2.3 billion for 10 months, just shy of the $2.5 billion Mississippi took from gamblers for all of 1999.

At this rate, the 2000 revenue total for Mississippi should reach $2.7 billion.


It’s almost a seasonal kind of thing.

Every year, Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth goes into court to shut down offshore gaming and every year the court hands Butterworth his hat.

In the latest example of this foolishness, Butterworth went into court to test whether gaming day cruises are legal on the on SunCruz III, a 150-foot long casino boat that sails from Daytona Beach with 232 slots and 12 blackjack, craps and roulette tables..

A Volusia County Circuit Court judge rejected Butterworth’s claim and gaming cruises continue. Offshore gaming onboard Florida’s two dozen boats is a $500 million industry.


Harrah’s Shreveport hopes the upcoming holidays brings the best gift of all -- increased boardings to their 30,000-square-foot casino boat. Business has been off at the only casino vessel operating on the Shreveport side of the Red River

Gross revenues are down over 2 percent, while the average number of visitors is off more than 13 percent.

Much of the problem relates to on-going construction at the Harrah’s site. Now that construction is near completion, Harrah’s will open three new restaurants and the first phase of its 500-room hotel in January. Another restaurant and a lounge will come on line in February.

Harrah’s is banking on their new international buffet to help draw back old customers that are now patronizing the three casinos on the Bossier City side of the Red River.