Casinos push on in the wake of nationwide worry.
For years, casinos have been at the forefront of providing quality entertainment to the people of New Orleans. Live performances from big-ticket artists and the latest table and slot games have made New Orleans’ land-based and riverboat casinos crowd favorites, and recent reports have indicated that they may be here to stay.
Reports by The New Orleans Advocate have shown that casino winnings in New Orleans in October of this year were 4.2% higher than they were at the same time last year. Winnings in the three riverboat casinos, Harrah's land-based casino, and slot machines found in the Fair Grounds have reportedly amounted to $52.3 million, but not all of the casinos saw increases in revenue. Treasure Chest saw a massive 12.4% revenue gain, but Amelia Belle saw a 4.2% decline, earning only $3.9 million. Similarly, slots at the Fair Grounds saw a decline of 2.3%, while Harrah’s reported an increase of 5.5% in winnings.
This is great news for the casinos, after having posted dismal numbers in the months leading to October, especially with nationwide worry about the state of the gambling industry has been at an all-time high, as online casinos begin to encroach on U.S. soil. The online gambling industry, which began with Cryptologic's launch of the multilingual InterCasino in 1996, has seen steady growth, with advanced technology now allowing online casinos to provide “Live Casino” features to their patrons. Many casino operators fear that online gambling would soon take revenues away from land-based casinos, effectively “cannibalizing” them and their customers. Last year saw New Jersey legalizing online gambling in the state, and the nation has stood by, awaiting the results that online gambling may have on the industry.
To some, it may have seemed that New Orleans’ casinos had suffered from the effects too, as in August and September, the casinos posted lower numbers than they did last year. The declining revenue had even prompted casino developer Caesars Entertainment to sell Harrah’s New Orleans to an affiliate in March of this year. Numbers from October, however, spelled that there might be hope for the casinos yet. Although quite different from the luxurious casinos in Las Vegas, New Orleans’ casinos still provide great entertainment to the community, allowing them to see musical acts in concert. Paired with the experience of great table games, commercial gambling in the state of Louisiana generates $1.3 billion every year, supporting nearly 32,000 jobs, including nearly 20,000 direct jobs.