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State officials: Winter weather crimped Louisiana’s gaming revenues


(The Center Square) — Louisiana gaming revenues were down across the board in January as the state faced winter weather that took a toll on the industry.

Donna Jackson with the Louisiana State Police’s Gaming Enforcement Division presented the numbers to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board at a meeting on Thursday.

Mobile sports betting took in $317.8 million in wagers last month, resulting in $35.7 million in net proceeds and $5.3 million in taxes paid to the state. Those figures are down from $344.9 million in wagers and $7.1 million in taxes collected in December.

The $28.5 million in retail sportsbook wagers in January produced $340,000 in state taxes, compared to $32.1 million in wagers that resulted in $407,672 in taxes for Louisiana in December.

Adjusted gross revenues at the state’s 14 riverboat casinos slid 23% or about $36.5 million from December to $122 million in January. Those revenues produced $26 million in fees paid to the state. Riverboat revenues for fiscal year 2023-24 through the end of January stood at $975 million, down about $29 million or 3% from the same point in the 2022-23 fiscal year.

Total fees collected from riverboats stood at $209.6 million through Jan. 31 of the current fiscal year.

Jackson noted that January had only four weekends versus five in December. Compared to January 2023, which had one extra Sunday, revenues were down 17.7% or $26 million, she said.

“Just in talking to a couple of the (general managers) around the state, I do know that both the Shreveport-Bossier market and the Lake Charles market were affected for a number of days by the ice storm, by the winter conditions that happened,” board chairman Ronnie Johns said.

“I know in Lake Charles, the I-210 bridge was actually closed for a couple of days, which is the main route to the two big properties there, so it definitely had I think an impact on their numbers.”

Revenues were also down at Harrah’s New Orleans Casino by $6 million or 24.4% from December with $18.7 million in gross gaming revenue last month. That’s about 7.2% or $1.4 million less than January 2023.

The revenues resulted in $5.5 million in minimum daily payments to Louisiana last month. The casino’s year-to-date revenues through Jan. 31 are $140 million, down $13.7 million or 9% from the same point last year. Fees collected from Harrah’s so far in fiscal year 2023-24 total $38 million, Jackson said.

Revenues from slots at the state’s racetracks were about $23 million in January, down 18% or about $5 million from December, generating about $3.4 million in fees for the state. Louisiana’s 11,955 video gaming devices produced $57 million in revenue in January, down $6.4 million or 10% from December. Those devices at 1,395 locations produced $17.5 million in franchise fees.

Daily Fantasy Sports showed $1.5 million in gross revenues, generating $12,134 in taxes. About $1.7 million in revenues produced $14,639 in taxes from fantasy sports in December.

Johns noted that while the figures were down for January, he’s eager to see what the biggest sports gambling day of the year will produce for Louisiana when this month’s figures are reviewed in March.

“Early estimates that I’ve seen in the last couple of days from around the country they’re estimating maybe as much as $23 billion actually wagered on this one-day event,” he said. “So it will be interesting to see what our numbers are in Louisiana.”