By a Biometrica staffer
In July, revenue at gambling establishments in the New Orleans area hit $52.1 million, an increase of nearly 46% when compared to the same period last year. Revenue for all of Louisiana’s riverboat casinos, land casinos, and racinos was at almost $222 million last month, up nearly 25% from July 2020, according to data from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
When it comes to individual casinos, Harrah’s New Orleans was the big winner, with a whopping 98.1% increase in revenue from $13 million last July to $25.7 million in the same period this year, nola.com reported.
Granted, the comparisons with last year were relatively easy given occupancy was capped at 50% in July 2020 during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic to stem the spread of the disease. The capacity restrictions have since been eased.
Even so, revenue numbers coming out of the casino and gaming industry this year have largely been strong, despite the new surge in Covid-19 cases, mostly of the more contagious delta variant. This shows that there is, probably, headroom for more growth ahead, depending on how the pandemic pans out.
In New Orleans, too, the number of visitors to the city has not yet fully rebounded, a spokeswoman for a tourism promotion organization called New Orleans & Company told the Associated Press. Louisiana has also been a “hot spot” of the new surge in infections, with hospitalizations repeatedly hitting record highs.
Earlier this month, the city also began mandating everyone who enters bars, restaurants, music clubs, and even the Superdome to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test. New Orleans also requires masks to be worn in stores and other indoor venues.
To be sure, there’s been positive news aplenty in the gaming and casino space, and not just in terms of commercial gaming. In Connecticut, the state’s two tribal casinos are showing a rebound in slot machine revenues due to an influx in visitors over the summer as restrictions due to Covid-19 eased, the Associated Press reported.
The state’s two tribal casinos, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino, had closed for more than three months during the height of the pandemic. The two tribal casinos give the state of Connecticut 25% of their slot machine revenues. In July, Mohegan sent the state nearly $12.5 million while Foxwoods provided $9.1 million.
Tribal gaming revenue appears to be up sharply after the pandemic-led decline in Oklahoma, too, Tulsa World reported. At the first Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA) conference held in two years, it was announced that the tribal gaming industry in Oklahoma generated a record-setting $167 million in revenue for the state the last fiscal year through exclusivity fees.
Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, a four-story retail space located on two acres is soon going to be added to the Strip as tourists return, Casino.org said.
Over the last couple of weeks, the American Gaming Association (AGA) and various states have been releasing their casino and gaming revenue figures for April–June 2021. According to the AGA’s tracker, 17 out of 25 states saw a rise in traditional gaming revenue in Q2 2021, compared to the Q2 2019 pre-pandemic benchmark. In certain states, “spend levels remain well above pre-pandemic levels,” the AGA said.