What’s going on in Louisiana as gambling revenue slumps?

When you look across the US, you’d be hard pushed to come across anywhere that’s as gambler-friendly as Louisiana.  As states go, it is the one that goes all out to ensure that the casino experience is a great one (although it is yet to legalise online casinos). Why wouldn’t it when the reality is that the tax revenue generated through gambling is huge? Read the latest about gambling revenue in Louisiana.

That’s why you’ll find that the riverboat casinos that operate here are simply amazing. They offer a wide selection of games and the kind of experience that can’t be matched by casinos anywhere else in the US. With that picture painted, you’d expect the state’s casinos to be a runaway success, but there’s something going on as their popularity seems to be waning.

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Louisiana Gambling Revenue

What’s the concern with gambling revenue in Louisiana?

What’s set alarm bells ringing in this state is the fact that casino revenue saw a significant fall during June of this year. The total revenue for the month came in at $265 million. While that may still sound more than just a little impressive it was actually down by 4% when compared to the $276.7 million that had been generated in May

If you take a look at the other figures that have been reported in Louisiana recently, there is not a great deal of good news. However, the June figures are the worst to be recorded since what was seen back in January. At this point gambling revenue was reported as reaching $253.7 million.

The other alarming fact about June’s figures is that they hardly compare favorably to those from 2021. The June of 2021 saw revenue being higher by around $27 million when compared to 2022 and that just adds to the depressing reading.

Slumping gambling revenue in Louisiana – What’s behind it all?

If you know Louisiana then you know that it can get a little hot. Certainly by the time summer has come around the temperatures are soaring and it can start to feel a little uncomfortable. For some people, the simple explanation is that the sweltering heat has put people off coming out to wager. It has meant that they’ve been exhausted by the heat and in no mood to be playing in a riverboat casino. However, this explanation, to us, just seems too simplistic.

Yes, June is a hot month, but that goes for most Junes in Louisiana. The question has to be focused on what is different this year. There have been plenty of sensationalist headlines all but suggesting that this appalling June signals the end of casinos in the state. What they fail to do though is to look at the year as a whole. 

Are things as bad as they seem or is this just a blip? Let’s have a look in a little more detail.

The one area that saw growth in June

The month wasn’t all doom and gloom. While overall revenue was down, there was one area that experience an uptick. It was at the Harrah’s New Orleans Casino which is the only land-based emporium in the state. Here, the figures saw a modest increase of 1.2% when compared to the previous month. While this rise may not be the biggest seen, it’s one that the riverboat casinos would have been grateful to achieve.

When looking at the combined revenue from the 13 riverboat casinos, this came to a grand total of $152 million. While this may sound impressive, it actually represents a 3.2% drop from the $157 recorded the month before. So, how did other areas fair during the month of June? Well, both racetracks and video game terminals were also down with the former seeing a dramatic 8.3% decrease when compared to May.

How about the new sports betting scene?

Louisiana has only recently entered the sports betting market. With it being legalized in June 2021, it wouldn’t be until January 2022 that online sports betting became a reality in the state alongside online casinos. The first half of the year saw this market performing well. With net revenue at around $85 million and tax revenue of around $13.1 million, things certainly got off to a promising start. then came June.

Sports betting didn’t fair so well in June, but this doesn’t appear to be anything to worry about. Most states, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Delaware and West Virginia, see a slump at this time of year. It’s a time when there is no NFL and sports, as a whole, seem to dry up for a while. The test will be when the state emerges out of the summer months when we see if this is a market that will quickly pick up again.

The bigger picture

Looking at June 2022 in isolation is not enough cause any real concern. What does start to cause concern is when you look at the previous months and realize that revenue had been on a gradual decline up until this point. While a degree of worry may be understandable, is there any cause for alarm? Well, in our opinion the answer is a resounding no.

What matters is more than just a snapshot of what has been going on. What really matters is the year-on-year figures, and these make for pleasant reading. Let’s have a look at how the year 2021-2022 really looks:

  • Riverboat casinos – over $1.8 billion in revenue and up 12% on the previous year
  • Harrah’s New Orleans Casino – revenue of $228.3 million, up 7%
  • Racetracks – up 3% with revenue of around $330 million

  • Video game terminals – an 8% increase with revenue of $829.3 million

When you look at these figures, it appears that the Louisiana gambling scene really has nothing to fear. Yes, the state appears to be experiencing a dip in gambling revenue, but this certainly doesn’t appear to be a long-term issue.

The reality of the situation can only be gauged by looking at what the next financial year brings. Assuming it carries on as the last then there’s certainly nothing to be concerned about. 

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