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Revenue falls at Louisiana casinos

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — State-licensed casinos in Louisiana won $185.2 million from gamblers in January, down considerably from the December holiday season figure of $211.4 million and a slip from the January 2012 figure of close to $185.7 million.

None of the casinos escaped the post-holiday season drop-off, and only a few saw improvement in January-to-January comparisons.

At the downtown Harrah's New Orleans Casino, revenue rose to just over $27 million last month from just under $27 million a year earlier.

The total for 13 riverboat casinos was down in the January-to-January comparison, with winnings of $126.9 million last month and $126.4 million a year earlier. Only the Baton Rouge riverboat market improved. And there, two longstanding casinos lost ground to the new L'Auberge riverboat, which opened in the fall.

And, while the slot machine operation at The Fair Grounds horse track in New Orleans increased its winnings, the total for all four race track slot facilities was down to $31.3 million last month from about $32.3 million in January 2012.

In the Lake Charles market, revenue dropped nearly 11 percent, from $39.9 million in January 2012 to $35.5 million last month. In Baton Rouge, the $21.7 million total was a 44 percent jump from January a year earlier. But the Belle of Baton Rouge's winnings of $4.5 million were down by $1.4 million from January 2012 and the Hollywood Baton Rouge winnings of $6.4 million fell almost 30 percent from the year-ago figure of $9.2 million. L'Auberge won $10.7 million, indicating the new boat was bringing in gamblers from other markets, as well as from the Belle and Hollywood.

At race tracks, The Fair Grounds slot operation won $4 million in January, up from $3.9 million a year earlier. But Delta Downs at Vinton, Harrah's Louisiana Downs in northwestern Louisiana and Evangeline Downs in Opelousas saw decreases ranging from 3.4 percent to 4.2 percent.

The figures released Thursday by state regulators do not include revenue from Indian reservation casinos, which are not required to report winnings to the public.

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Online:

http://lgcb.dps.louisiana.gov/revenue_reports_slots.html

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