Louisiana Casinos, Sportsbooks Set New Records In November

Written By Derek Helling on December 20, 2023
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November 2023 was a good month for Louisiana’s gambling industry. Just how good depends on what aspect of that industry you are discussing. In some ways, gaming revenue during the month has no equal in the state.

Louisiana’s legal sportsbooks have never been as busy as they were during November while riverboat casinos in the state had their best month of November to date. Other parts of the industry did not have such an outstanding month, though.

Harrah’s New Orleans, Louisiana racetracks see November dips

November brought some mixed results for Louisiana’s gambling industry as a whole. For Harrah’s New Orleans and the state’s four racetracks with slot machines, it was an unremarkable month.

Revenue from slots at the tracks fell by 8.7% as compared to November 2022, for example, coming in at $23.7 million.

Meanwhile, in New Orleans, Harrah’s saw an even more drastic annual drop. The casino’s $20.7 million in gross revenue from November represented a decline of 10.9% from November 2022.

The negative narrative grows even more harrowing when considering the entire fiscal year to date for Harrah’s New Orleans.

Through the first five months of the current term, gross revenue has declined 13% compared to July through November of 2022. For slot revenue at the four tracks, revenue is down only marginally in the same comparison.

For the rest of Louisiana’s gambling industry, November was a comparably far superior month. For the state’s legal sportsbooks, it was truly a November to remember.

Louisiana sports bettors hit the books in November

One aspect of legal sports betting in Louisiana during November was completely unprecedented; the amount of money that bettors wagered on sports. Their $356.4 million in bets surpassed Louisiana’s single-month gaming record set in October of $308.6 million.

It was also a good month for bettors in terms of winning their bets. Louisiana sportsbooks won just 5.4% of that $356.4 million or around $19.4 million. That’s one of the lowest revenue totals for 2023 so far. At the same time, it’s a drastic improvement from November 2022.

November 2022 was among the worst months for sportsbooks in Louisiana. They collectively took quite a bath, losing over $25.3 million during the month. Thus, November 2023’s revenue total represents a 231.8% year-over-year improvement.

The real cash cows of Louisiana’s gambling industry — riverboat casinos — also had a strong November. They appear on pace to narrowly establish a new revenue record in the current fiscal year.

Strong November for riverboat casinos in Louisiana

The 2022 version of November had been the best such month on record for Louisiana’s 15 riverboat casinos. That’s no longer the case, although the new record margin is quite small. The casinos collectively won over $140.5 million in November 2023.

For the fiscal year-to-date comparison, the running total is up less than a percentage point. However, even the smallest of margins could set a new revenue record for an entire fiscal year. Should that happen, it could also be a banner year for tax revenue for Louisiana from gaming.

November contributed $42.4 million from $183.6 million in adjusted gaming revenue and another $20.7 million in gross revenue. While Harrah’s New Orleans and racetracks would have preferred to have a November more like riverboat casinos’ month, the tax money all spends the same for the state.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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