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Gambling revenue drops in New Orleans, Baton Rouge

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gambling winnings in New Orleans and Baton Rouge dropped in January, but casino revenue in other markets increased.

Winnings at Harrah's New Orleans, three area riverboat casinos and the slots at the Fair Grounds all fell in January. Winnings totaled nearly $50.2 million, down from $50.26 million in January 2013.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/OjVXxq ) statewide gambling winnings were $188.5 million in January, according to figures released Thursday by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. That compares with nearly $185.2 million a year ago, a 1.8 percent increase.

The 14 riverboat casinos won nearly $131.5 million in January, 3.7 percent more than the $126.9 million won at 13 casinos in January 2013. The Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City, which opened in June, brought in nearly $9.2 million during the month.

Harrah's brought in $26.8 million in January, a 0.8 percent drop from the $27 million won the year before.

The riverboats brought in $19.7 million during the month, an 8.6 percent drop from the nearly $21.7 million the properties won in January 2013.

The Amelia Belle had the smallest decline in business, dropping 2.7 percent. The Morgan City casino brought in nearly $3.9 million during January, compared with almost $4 million a year earlier.

Treasure Chest in Kenner fell by close to 9.7 percent, from $8 million to nearly $7.3 million. Boomtown in Harvey was down 10.2 percent from $9.5 million to nearly $8.6 million.

The Fair Grounds slots generated nearly $3.7 million in winnings during the month, an 8.8 percent drop from $4 million in January 2013.

Winnings at the Capital City's three riverboats were down 2 percent in January. Those numbers are attributable to a significant drop in business at Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge. Hollywood, which has been hardest hit by the arrival of L'Auberge Baton Rouge, had a 19.4 percent drop in winnings. The casino brought in $5.2 million in January, down from nearly $6.5 million in January 2013.

L'Auberge brought in nearly $11.5 million during the month, compared with nearly $10.7 million in January 2013, a 7.3 percent increase.

The Belle of Baton Rouge saw a modest increase in winnings, going from nearly $4.54 million in January 2013 to $4.59 million, a 1.2 percent increase.

With a sixth riverboat casino in its fleet last year compared with 2013, the Shreveport-Bossier market's take jumped 10.8 percent to $53.2 million. The Harrah's Louisiana Downs racetrack in Bossier City dropped 7.6 percent to $5 million.

Lake Charles' two riverboat casinos combined for a 4.9 percent gain to nearly $37.3 million.

Among the other racetracks in the state, Delta Downs in Vinton was up a modest 0.6 percent to nearly $14.8 million. Evangeline Downs in Opelousas fell 6.7 percent to $6.7 million.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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