Baton Rouge Casinos on Serious Downturn

Every month, gaming regulators across the United States provide insight into how casinos and other gambling venues are performing. Reports are provided to the public so that citizens can see how much venues are earning as well as how much in taxes are earned. For operators, the goal is to see an increase in earnings. However, that is not always the case.

Unfortunately, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the casinos there are struggling and have been for two years now. The area just recently posted their 24th consecutive month with a year-over-year loss.

August Earnings

The overall earnings in the Baton Rouge area have been hurting for two years, with month after month showing a decrease in revenue when compared to the same month the previous year. For August 2019, two riverboat casinos actually saw gains but with downturn of the Belle of Baton Rouge pushed the overall total down once again.

Only $20 million was brought in by the Belle, Hollywood Casino and the L’Auberge Baton Rouge. This was a 0.2% decrease when compared to the same month in 2018 according to details by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

The Belle of Baton Rouge continues to see the highest losses in the local market as well as statewide. The casino earned only $2.3 million last month which was 9% more when compared to July but a whopping 24% less than what was earned in August 2018.

For the Hollywood Casino, a 3% gain was seen with $4.5 million in earnings. The L’Auberge saw a higher increase of 4.5% with $13.2 million in earnings.

As far as riverboat casinos in the entire state, August saw $164.5 million in earnings. This was an almost 8% increase when compared to July and 2.7% when compared to August 2018. Out of the 15 operating riverboat casinos, three saw year over year losses for August. The Belle of Baton Rouge, Isle of Capri Casino and Eldorado Resort were all on the downside when it comes to monthly earnings.

Changes Needed

In Baton Rouge, the downturn has existed since August 2017. The market continues to see a loss when it comes to revenues and the Belle of Baton Rouge remains at the bottom. The big drop in business from last month is not a good sign. The venue is the oldest riverboat in operation in the city and it is having trouble keeping up with other local venues.

The losses cannot continue, so the operator will have to come up with some type of plan in order to see money come in. The huge drop when compared to August 2018 shows how much of a loss is taking place within the business.

No talk of closing up shop or major changes have been announced by the operator, but one would assume that the operator is considering any and everything to try and bring numbers back up.

It will be interesting to see how the year plays out and if the horrible downturn will continue for the gaming venues in the region. As a whole, the state is doing well, so an upturn in the region would help to push the bottom line even higher, if it can occur.


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.