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Louisiana's March casino revenue $224M, down 3.5 percent from March 2013

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NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana's casino winnings fell 3.5 percent statewide in March compared to a year ago, from a total of $232.2 million in March 2013 to $224.1 million last month.

Only two of Louisiana's 19 casinos made more money last month than in March 2013, according to figures released Thursday by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. Those were the New Orleans land casino and the Belle of Baton Rouge.

Harrah's New Orleans took $32.6 million from gamblers, up 3.2 percent from a year ago. Winnings for the Belle of Baton Rouge rose 4.2 percent, to $5.9 million.

Those two casinos also had the lowest winnings per gambler in their markets.

In the New Orleans market, Harrah's took an average of $62.94 from 518,035 gamblers in March, while the slots casino at the New Orleans Fair Grounds race track averaged $65.24 for a $4.8 million total and the two riverboat casinos were closing in on $100 per gambler — $96.46 at the Treasure Chest and $99.15 at Boomtown.

The New Orleans market totaled $57.8 million in March, about even with a year earlier. Boomtown's revenues totaled $10.9 for the month and the Treasure Chest's $9.5 million.

The Belle's average winnings per customer were $77.05 in March, while the Hollywood casino took $94.10 and L'Auberge Baton Rouge $98.94. With $5.9 million from the Belle, $6.8 million at Hollywood and $13.3 million at L'Auberge Baton Rouge, the Baton Rouge market total was $26 million, down 9.8 percent from a year earlier.

Winnings per customer didn't have any apparent correlation with year-to-year revenues in other markets.

For instance, the Lake Charles riverboats were only pennies apart in average take per customer — $80.02 for the Isle and $79.93 for L'Auberge. But the Isle's total take of $12.4 million was just 1 percent down from March 2013, while winnings at L'Auberge fell 8.3 percent, to $29.8 million.

And in Shreveport, the addition of a seventh riverboat in June remained the major driver for year-to-year losses among the other riverboats. Revenues fell 13.9 percent to 25.8 percent from March to March for the six older riverboat casinos, but the total market revenue of $66.8 million was down only 1 percent from March 2013.

Harrah's remained Louisiana's top casino, with L'Auberge Lake Charles second.

The 14 riverboat casinos made $154.4 million in March, down 4.3 percent from March 2013; the four race track slots casinos took in $37 million, down 5.6 percent.

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