Casino Revenue in Louisiana Fell Sharply Due to Hurricane Ida

Casino Revenue In Louisiana

Louisiana is home to one of the largest casino industries in the Southern United States. Unfortunately, the casinos here have been badly affected by Hurricane Ida, which recently made its way through the state. New reports claim this hurricane is likely to take a major toll on casino revenue in Louisiana.

It’s tough news for the owners of these properties. Fortunately, these low revenue figures may not last forever. Now is a great time to look at the state of Louisiana’s casino industry right now.

Let’s get into it!

Hurricane Ida is Likely to Cause Drop in Casino Revenue in Louisiana

Louisiana is home to a huge number of popular gambling venues. Some of these are riverboat casinos owned by commercial gaming companies. Others are Native American-run land-based casinos operated by different tribal groups in the state.

The casinos in the coastal regions are used to seeing disruptions due to weather. Not long ago, Hurricane Ida made its way through the state. The hurricane was large enough to force all of these coastal casinos to close their doors and some took damage.

New reports have surfaced claiming that casinos here can expect to see double-digit revenue losses caused by this hurricane. This is due to the large drop in visits to casinos in the state. Carlo Santarelli, a prominent gaming analyst, spoke to investors about this situation this week.

“If we assume the daily spend per measures visitor in August is akin to the 33.2% percent two-year increase in July, it would imply a 19% two-year gross gaming revenue decline in Louisiana in August, relative to the 9.7% two-year increase in July,” Santarelli said 

Many of the casinos in Louisiana closed due to Hurricane Ida have since reopened. We’ll be sure to report on the upcoming gaming revenue reports here as soon as they are released.

Louisiana’s Sports Betting Launch is Delayed Once Again

Louisiana is known for having one of the most passionate sporting fan bases in the United States. Back in November of 2020, residents here finally voted in favor of legalizing and regulating sports betting in the state. Since that time, officials have been working to come up with an agreement to regulate this industry.

The original plan was to launch the state’s first sports betting operations before the start of the 2021/2022 NFL season today. Unfortunately, Hurricane Ida has delayed these plans. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board was unable to approve sports betting licenses before tonight’s game takes place.

It now appears the state’s first sportsbooks will launch at the end of September. Many residents are eager to see NFL betting options become available here. The American Gaming Association expects this NFL season to be the most-bet-on in history.

There is reason to believe that Louisiana will earn a huge amount of tax revenue from these regulated football betting platforms. Some expect this state to develop one of the largest sports betting markets in the country. As of now, an official launch date for the first sportsbooks has not been announced.

A lot is happening with Louisiana’s gambling industry. The casinos here are not the only ones experiencing revenue declines, though. Here’s a look at how other casino markets are faring.

States Report Casino Revenue Decline Over August

The US casino industry has performed better in 2021 than ever before in history. That is incredible when considering the state of this industry in 2020. Casino companies are performing very well, yet many reported revenue drops over the month of August.

The casinos in Maryland took a slight dive last month. Overall, casino revenue came out to $168.5 million. That is a drop from the $180 million earned in July, yet is still a major increase when compared to August of 2020.

Ohio is home to many popular tribal casinos. Last August, these properties managed to bring in $194.3 million in total gross gaming revenue. These are impressive figures but remain below the gaming revenue record set in April at $217 million.

Analysts now expect to see Nevada and New Jersey reporting slight revenue drops, too. Fortunately, things may bounce back over the fall months. Stay tuned for more information as the year goes on.

Are you surprised to hear that casino revenue in Louisiana is set to drop? Do you think it will bounce back in September? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Isle of Capri Casino in Louisiana Should Open in Late 2022

Lake Charles Casino Louisiana

Louisiana is home to a large and successful casino industry. Many of these properties are located in the Lake Charles area and several have been damaged by recent hurricanes. That includes the Isle of Capri Casino in Louisiana, which has just pushed back its reopening date to the fall of 2022.

Many will be disappointed to hear this venue’s opening date is being pushed back again. The owners seem frustrated with the situation, as well.

Here’s what you need to know about this situation.

Gaming Board Gives Green Light for the Isle of Capri Casino in Louisiana to Reopen on Land

Louisiana’s casino industry is unlike many others around the country. Here, the vast majority of gambling venues are riverboat casinos. This goes back to old laws that required all casinos to be based off-land.

Of course, operating an expensive casino on the water comes with its share of problems. That is particularly true in Louisiana, an area known to attract hurricanes. Many of the gambling venues here have been damaged by these hurricanes over the past few years.

That includes the Isle of Capri Casino in Lake Charles. This property took serious damage back in August of 2020. To make things worse, the Covid-19 pandemic led to serious delays getting this venue operational again. Louisiana’s Gaming Control Board approved a measure to move this casino to land in 2019 and many have been left wondering when this move would take place. The current plan is for the venue to formally reopen to the public in the fall of 2022.

Interestingly, this property is set to be re-branded as the Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles. Isle of Capri Senior Vice President and General Manager Jeff Favre spoke about this move to the media this week.

“I’m excited to bring the iconic horseshoe brand to Lake Charles, it’s legendary,” he said. “We’re building approximately 110,000 square feet. Not all of that gaming of a little over 60,000 of that is gaming space. So approximately 1000 games between slot machines and table games.”  

We’ll offer more information on this move over the next few months.

Louisiana’s Sports Betting Industry is Set to Launch in September

The state of Louisiana is known for having one of the most passionate sporting fan bases in the United States. It’s here that popular teams such as the New Orleans Saints are located. Many have been pushing hard for sports gambling to become legal and regulated here.

Those individuals will be happy to hear that the first sportsbooks are expected to launch here in September. That coincides with the start of the 2021/2022 NFL season. Many analysts expect this season to be the most-bet-on football season in history.

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board recently approved an emergency measure to launch sportsbooks in September. Fifteen casinos around the state will soon have permission to apply for a sports betting license. At least eight have already done so.

Online sports betting will eventually become available in Louisiana, as well. These online betting platforms will almost certainly be more popular than the land-based sportsbooks in the state. It’s an exciting time for sports betting fans here.

There is a chance that the Isle of Capri Casino in Louisiana, soon to be named the Horseshoe Casino, will offer sportsbooks. Stay tuned for updates!

US Casino Revenue Continues to Surge

2020 was without a doubt the worst year in history for the US casino industry. Casinos across the country were shut down for months at a time. Fortunately, things have completely turned around and casino revenue continues to surge throughout 2021.

Louisiana is one state that continues to experience revenue gains. This past July, the casinos in Louisiana managed to bring in $222 million in total gross gaming revenue. The Golden Nugget in Lake Charles was the best-performing property in the state, bringing in $31.5 million.

Massachusetts is also home to a growing casino industry. Three casino-resorts are now operating here. Gross gaming revenue in the state came out to $95.7 million. The Encore Boston Harbor managed to bring in the most money at $59.7 million.

Places like Nevada and New Jersey continue seeing impressive revenue reports, too. The casino companies here are expecting to break an all-time revenue record in 2021.

Are you excited to hear about the reopening of the Isle of Capri Casino in Louisiana? Let us know in the comments section below.

Caesars Entertainment, New Orleans Saints Sign Superdome Naming Rights Deal

Caesars Entertainment Logo

Caesars Entertainment and the NFL’s New Orleans Saints have inked a 20-year agreement that will give the Nevada-based gambling company the naming rights to the home of the Saints, the Superdome.

Aside from the naming rights, the two parties also plan to make joint investments that will use Caesars Entertainment’s leverage in the sporting and entertainment world in order to bring more world class events to the Superdome while also enhancing Championship Square as a venue.

The deal is the first explicit naming rights contract between an NFL team and a major casino operator as the league has steadily eased restrictions on gambling-related deals.

Investing Hundreds of Millions in NOLA

The terms of the deal were not made public although last week, the state budget committee pegged the overall value at $138M. The payment will go directly to the Saints as part of their 2009 contract with the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District or the Superdome Commission, which has oversight functions over the property.

The Superdome deal is the largest sponsorship deal ever entered into by Caesars Entertainment. With the planned $320M expansion of Harrah’s at the riverside end of Canal Street, which is set to break ground this month, Caesars Entertainment in investing hundreds of millions of dollars in New Orleans.

Mercedes to Focus in Atlanta

Caesars Entertainment thus replaces Mercedes Benz which was the first naming rights sponsor to the 51-year old Superdome. Mercedes Benz’s 10-year deal expired this month and the German automotive maker decided not to renew in NOLA in order to focus its investments in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mercedes Benz recently moved its North America headquarters to Atlanta and they also have the naming rights to the stadium of Atlanta’s NFL team in the Atlanta Falcons. The Mercedes deal reportedly gave the Saints around $5.5M to $6M annually. Meanwhile, the new deal with Caesars is worth $6.9M per annum for the franchise.

Superdome Renovation

The Caesars Entertainment deal will spare taxpayers money from being used in the maintenance and renovation of the Superdome over the duration of the contract. However, the state will still contribute $90M to the current $450M renovation that is currently underway.

The ongoing renovation is set to add a dozen new luxury field-level suites. Under the new sponsorship deal, Caesars will own one of those suites while it will upgrade the two 400-level suites it currently owns to a more premium mid-field location.

DraftKings First to Get DFS Approval in Louisiana

Odds Board and Money

DraftKings became the first daily fantasy operator to get its licensed application approved in Louisiana after the Louisiana Gaming Control Board gave its nod on Thursday morning.

The effectivity of the approval is immediate and DratKings could begin DFS operations on Thursday.

By being the first DFS operator in the state ,DraftKings will have the leg up in both DFS and sports betting by being able to go live first. That’s because operators usually use their DFS databases to convert clients to sports betting, so having more time to build a DFS client base will work to its advantage.

Said Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of DraftKings North America:

“As DraftKings continues our nationwide expansion, we welcome Louisiana to the DraftKings family, an area rich with culture, heritage, and diehard fanbases in both college and professional sports. The Bayou will now have access to our world-leading daily fantasy sports product as we ramp up toward the kickoff of football season.”

$1.3M in Taxes for the State

DraftKings submitted its licensing request last February or shortly after the gaming board opened the application period. The Louisiana State Police Department conducted a background investigation and financial review of the company to ensure it complied with state regulations.

The LGCB says that DraftKings estimated that it would bring $15.5M in net revenue for the current year which would generate nearly $1.3M in tax dollars for the state.

DFS Permitted in Parishes Which Voted For Sports Betting

Louisiana residents who wish to participate in Daily Fantasy Sports activities will have be at least 21 years old and will have to be physically present in one of the parishes that voted to approve the legalization of sports betting. Those who reside in the parishes that voted in the negative will have to travel to one of the approving parishes to log-in to the online sites.

55 out of Louisiana’s 64 parishes voted to legalize DFS, sports betting on live action games but the gaming board has not yet finalized the regulations as well as the application process to start sports betting via retail betting sites, mobile apps, and online sites.

Governor John Bel Edwards Signs Louisiana Sports Betting Bill

Lousiana State Seal With Casino Background
Legal Sports betting is on its way to Louisiana after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed Senate Bills 247 and 142 on Tuesday.

With both bills signed, all elements are now in order for Louisiana’s casinos to apply for legal sports betting licenses, build their own retail sportsbooks, and line up their partners to handle online and mobile sports betting.

Earlier this month, the Governor already signed House Bill 697 which set up the taxes and fees for legal Louisiana sports betting. 

Said Senate President Page Cortez:

“SB247 fulfills the wishes of the citizens in the 55 parishes that approved the referendum last fall to allow sports wagering and SB142 will help direct funding derived from this activity to early childhood education.” 

The only state in the Region With Online Option

Once launched, Louisiana will be the only state in the region to have an online and mobile sports betting option. Casinos in the bordering states of Arkansas and Mississippi allow only face-to-face sports bets made at retail sports betting shops. Meanwhile, Texas neither has casinos of legal sports betting.

The online option was added to the Louisiana legislation after Cortez noted before the legislative session began last April that sports betting would raise significant income if bets were allowed online or using mobile devices. The Senate President cited an AP report that 85% of the total sports bets placed nationwide during the first two months of the year were via mobile or online option.

Tax Rates are Set

Louisiana’s current gaming license holders, including riverboat casinos and racinos, will be required to pay a $250,000 fee to apply for a sports betting license plus another $500,000 after the approval of an initial five-year license.

Each of the present 20 gaming license holders in the state will be allowed two skins for mobile betting. Online sports betting will be levied a 15% tax on net revenue while bets placed at brick and mortar sportsbooks will be required to pay a 10% tax to the state.

Targeting the Football Season

With the Governor’s signature in place, legislators are targeting the start of the football season for the Louisiana sports betting launch. The National Football League’s preseason begins on August 5th and the regular season start on September 9th. Louisiana is the home of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.

Aside from the Saints, Louisiana has other prominent sports teams like the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans and the NCAA’s Louisiana State University which has popular programs in both basketball and football. It is also home to the New Orleans Gold of the National Rugby League.

 

Louisiana Lawmakers Approve Sports Betting Rules

Lousiana State Seal With Casino Background

The Louisiana Senate voted 33-3 on Thursday to approve the bill containing the rules that will govern sports betting in the 55 Louisiana parishes that agreed to legalize sports wagering.

Gov. John Edwards (D) is expected to sign the measure into a law, which will pave the way for the launch of Louisiana sports betting this fall.

Voters in 55 out of the 64 parishes in Louisiana gave their approval for the legalization of wagering on live sports games. But lawmakers still had to formulate the rules and tax rates before sports gambling can launch. The House had earlier voted 78-15 in favor of the legislation before its approval in the Senate on Thursday.

State to Issue 20 Louisiana Sports Betting Licenses

Under SB 247, the state will issue 20 Louisiana sports betting licenses and allow the Louisiana Lottery to employ one outside firm to run one additional sports betting operation.

Louisiana’s exiting 16 casinos and four race tracks with slot machines will be given priority to acquire the allotted sports betting licenses.

If they are not interested and the licenses are not fully taken by January 1st, video poker outlets and fantasy sports betting operators in parishes where Louisiana sports betting is legal will get a chance to apply for the remaining licenses.

The Louisiana Lottery will oversee the sports betting kiosks found in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. There is no limit as to the number of bar and restaurants that will be allowed to conduct on-site sports betting.

Key Features of Louisiana Sports Betting

Those who wish to place sports bets, whether on site or online, must be at least 21 years old. That bettor must first set up an account with a Louisiana sports betting operator.

Persons from parishes that voted against the legalization of Louisiana sports betting can place wagers if they do so in parishes that approved legal sports wagering.

The state will tax Louisiana sports betting operators at 10% of net gaming proceeds for onsite sports betting operators and 15% for bets made via mobile apps and other electronic devices.

25% of the state’s revenue ( up to $20M) will be allotted to early learning program for children while the rest will be divided between the horse racing industry, local government, other programs, and the general state Treasury.

Louisiana House Approves Sports Betting Bill

Louisiana State Seal With a Casino and Historic Background

Sports bettors in Louisiana are one step closer to start wagering on sports event if Gov. John Bel Edwards approves the second of two bills that are about to clear the state legislature.

Senate Bill 247 passed the Louisiana House by a vote of 78 to 15 on Thursday night. However, the bill, which sets up the protocols and oversight for Louisiana sports betting, has been sent back to the Senate for last-minute amendments by its Senate sponsors. It will need to return to the Upper chamber to concur with the changes.

The other bill, House Bill 697, which sets up the taxes and fees for Louisiana sports betting, already passed last week and is already on the desk of Gov. Edwards for his signature.

Approved by Two-Thirds of Voters

Voters in 55 out of the state’s total 64 parishes, with nearly two-thirds of the voters statewide approving, chose to participate. But before Louisiana residents can actually place a sports bet in the state, legislators need to pass a law that will set up how things will be done. That’s what SB 247 and HB 697 are here for.

Under the two bills, bettors can place a wager on sporting events on their smart phones, in casinos, or at kiosks in bars and restaurants that serve alcoholic drinks. Should the Governor sign both bills, which is expected, the Gaming Control Board must come up with the rules and regulations and start accepting applications for Louisiana sports betting licenses.

20 Licenses to Be Issued

A total of 20 licenses will be issued, 15 to the casinos and the other 5 to the existing racinos in the state. Each license is allowed to have two skins. Convenience stores won’t be allowed to put up a sports betting kiosk however, retail establishments with a Class A license where alcohol can be sold, can apply for a Louisiana sports betting license.

Local retail establishments which will put up a retail sports betting outlet will be levied a tax rate of 10% on gross revenues. Meanwhile, operators who wish to put up mobile platforms will be charged a 15% tax on their gross revenues.

Louisiana Sports Betting Approved by Senate, Could Be Ready for Football Season

Lousiana State Seal With Casino Background

Senate Approves Louisiana Sports Betting Bill

The Louisiana Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure that would allow legal sports betting in the state in time for the start of the American football season.

Senators approved Senate Bill 247 via a 31-6 vote on Wednesday, sending the Louisiana sports betting bill to the House for consideration.

The 40-page bill, which was sponsored by Senate President Page Cortez, was extensively rewritten after months of negotiation. Senators amended the Louisiana sports betting bill to allow temporary licenses while the state’s casinos build out a section for sports wagering in order to be ready for the upcoming football season.

20 Licenses to Be Handed Out

Cortez’s bill calls for 20 sports betting licenses which can be acquired by casinos, racetracks, riverboats, and Harrah’s in New Orleans. The initial application fee was pegged at $250,000 while the license will cost $500,00 for a term of five years. The Louisiana Lottery will be entitled to one license but will have to operate via a contracted service provider. The Lottery would also handle kiosks that are located inside restaurants and bars.

Licensees would have to apply before January 2022 and submit a suitability analysis. Meanwhile, the casinos would have to agree on building a separate designated area for sports betting. Each license would be allowed two skins with the second skin to handle online and mobile sports betting. The betting apps to be used are required to have a software that will identify who is exactly placing the sports bet.

54 out 64 Parishes Gave Their Approval

Last fall, voters from 54 out of the state’s 64 parishes approved a proposition allowing residents in those parishes to make sports bets. Geofencing software will be used to ensure that no sports wagers will be made from any one the nine parishes that opted out of the November vote.

Since then, bettors have been asking lawmakers when Louisiana sports betting would commence. But legislators still needed to establish the framework of Louisiana sports betting, including the rules, regulations, and the overseeing body. That’s when SB 247 was born and after months of negotiation, it has been re-written and now moving forward to the House.

Louisiana Sports Betting Bill Advances in Senate

Louisiana State Seal With a Casino and Historic Background

A bill that would allow legal Louisiana sports betting advanced in the Senate on Tuesday to set the regulations for sports betting in parishes which voted in favor of its legalization.

55 out of 64 Louisiana parishes voted to allow sports betting on live-action games but before players could start making wagers, lawmakers must first set the regulations and tax rates.

The bill next heads to the full Senate for a debate but could be diverted to the Senate budget committee for a second review.

A separate bill filed by Republican Rep. John Stefanski of Crowley, passed the House on a 78-24 vote on Monday and awaits debate in the Senate. That measure would set the tax rates for legal Louisiana sports betting.

20 Sports Betting Licenses Available

The Senate bill which was backed without objection by a Senate judiciary committee is sponsored by Senate President Page Cortez. Unde the measure, a total fo 20 Louisiana sports betting licenses would be handed out, with the state’s casinos and race tracks given the priority to get those licenses.

If Louisiana casinos and race tracks don’t apply for all of the 20 available legal Louisiana sports betting licenses, fantasy sports operators and video poker establishments in the 55 parishes where sports betting is legal would be able to apply for the remaining licenses.

Must Be Physically Present

To place a legal sports bet, a player would have to be at least 21 years old and be physically present in one of the 55 parishes who voted to legalize Louisiana sports betting.
If the bettor lives in a parish that voted against it, then he must drive up to any of the parishes who did.

Before a bettor can place a wager, he must digitally register and deposit via smartphone or other mobile devices. Athletes, coaches, and referees are not allowed to place legal sports wagers in games where they are involved.

Caesars Completes Sale of Eldorado Shreveport to Bally’s Corp.

Caesars Entertainment Logo
Caesars Entertainment completed its sale of Eldorado Shreveport to Bally’s corporation last week to satisfy the stipulation imposed by the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year after its merger with Eldorado.

The $17.3 merger created the largest gamblig company in the United States. The FTC required the surviving entity to dispose some of its casinos in markets that presented anti-trust issues. In Louisiana, Caesars was to sell Belle of Baton Rogue and Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack in Bossier City along with Eldorado Shreveport. The sale of the two other Louisiana casinos are still pending.

Said Caesars CEO Tom Reeg of the sale:

“Since our acquisition of the property 15 years ago, our team members’ passion and commitment have driven our success in Shreveport. We wish all of them continued success under Bally’s ownership.”

Important For Bally’s Corp.

The $140M purchase is important for Bally’s for several reasons. First, it aids the Rhode Island-based gambling company’s geographical diversification efforts, also diversifying its revenue source while diluting the concentration on its home market. The acquisition also enabled Bally’s to enter the 5th largest betting market in the United States, which is expected to boom even more with the approval of sports betting in the state.

After sealing the Shreveport deal, Bally’s now has a total of 11 casinos across seven different states, one horse track, 13 off track betting licenses in Colorado. With still other pending deals waiting to be completed, Bally’s is expected to control 14 gambling properties in 10 different states when all is said and done.

Not The First Buyer

While Bally’s is the company that closed the deal, it wasn’t the first buyer for the Louisiana casino. It can be recalled that last January, Eldorado announced that it would be selling the Shreveport property to Maverick Gaming LLC for $230M. However, that deal collapsed at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

ERC then struck a deal with Twin River Worldwide Holdings, the predecessor of Bally’s last April. Twin River spent $20M for the control of the Bally name, brand, and intellectual property. Last month, Twin River completed the $25M acquisition of Bally’s Atlantic City. Shares of Bally closed at $49.14 or up by $1.66 after the announcement of the completion of the Shreveport deal.