For anyone reviewing the financials from Louisiana’s regulated gambling activity for the past fiscal year, an appropriate song to play would be Foreigner’s “Feels Like the First Time.” In one significant way, it absolutely is the first time.
True to Foreigner’s lyrics, the state’s licensed gaming channels made history in the fiscal year ending in June. Tax dollars and revenue for the various casinos, racetracks, and online sportsbooks came in like they never did before.
Louisiana gaming posts mixed June numbers
The final month of the 2022-23 fiscal year, June, elicited a range of revenue for the gambling industry in Louisiana. While the state’s sportsbooks saw substantial improvements in their business, racetracks stood pat and casinos bogged down.
Across both in-person and online segments, licensed Louisiana sportsbooks took in $160 million in bets in June. Of that money, they kept about 7.8% to claim $12.4 million in adjusted revenue. From that sum, they paid $1.6 million in privilege taxes to the state.
Sportsbooks’ win was up 14.5% compared to June 2022. Meanwhile, the amount of taxes the state collected from regulated sports betting during the month increased by 12.5% compared to the same month last year.
However, that’s the best news from the month for the state’s gaming industry. Slots at racetracks across Louisiana merely kept pace with their June 2022 sums. They won an identical $27.1 million from players and paid $4.1 million to the state.
Harrah’s New Orleans also matched its June 2022 payout to the state at $5.3 million in June 2023. However, the state’s only current casino occupying dry land saw a 5.7% loss in gross revenue last month, winning $19.8 million from players.
Riverboat casinos in Louisiana again accounted for most of the state’s gaming activity during the month, reporting $148.9 million in adjusted revenue and submitting $32 million in fees to Louisiana. Both of those numbers were down marginally compared to June 2022.
Excluding revenue from Harrah’s (the Louisiana Gaming Control Board or LGCB reports Harrah’s gross, not adjusted, revenue) win from all these segments came to $188.4 million for June 2023. From all sources combined, including Harrah’s, the state collected $43 million in fees and taxes. Those numbers represent extremely slight declines compared to June 2022.
However, May revenue and the months before for Louisiana casinos were sufficient to post numbers for the entire fiscal year that opened the door to annual increases.
2022-23 fiscal year ends with over $2 billion in adjusted revenue
For as mediocre a month as June was for Louisiana’s gaming industry, the end of the fiscal year produced a better feeling. While both the adjusted revenue and tax totals represented just marginal gains, even marginal gains are superior to losses.
FY22-23 represented the state’s first full fiscal year for legal sports betting. Physical sportsbooks’ first full month was November 2021 while their online counterparts didn’t launch in most of Louisiana until January 2022.
Comparing the past two fiscal years again represents favorable and unfavorable circumstances in other segments. For example, Harrah’s grew its gross revenue total by 12.3%. It also paid 5.7% more tax dollars to Louisiana than it did in FY21-22.
However, revenue was slightly down from slots at racetracks. Fees paid to the state from that gambling along with taxes on riverboat gaming were also down imperceptibly. Those riverboat casinos bore the brunt of the decline, seeing their revenues fall by 5.6% compared to FY21-22.
Several of the state’s riverboat casinos are undertaking inland moves. Those include the Queen Casino and the Live! Casino & Hotel Louisiana. The former of those two plans to open in Baton Rouge next month.
Although FY22-23 feels like the first time, it might get even better moving forward.