Louisiana casino industry slowly recovering from Katrina

Harrah’s New Orleans Casino general manager Jim Hoskins points to a pile of suitcases stacked next to a USD 1 slot machine as another sign of recovery in New Orleans. It also marks the gambling industry’s recovery more than a year after Hurricane Katrina.

September revenues at New Orleans’ three area casinos have all increased compared with September 2004: At Boomtown Casino in Harvey revenue rose to USD 15.2 million, 73.1 percent above its September 2004 earnings of USD 8.8 million. Harrah’s revenue is up 30 percent to USD 33 million compared with USD 25.4 million in September 2004. Besides, revenue at Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner increased 17.1 percent to USD 10 million from USD 8.6 million in 2004. In September 2005, Katrina temporarily shut down all three establishments. Boomtown was the first to reopen September 30. The three casinos took in a combined USD 58.4 million in September, down from USD 59.3 million in August. Statewide, gamblers lost USD 209.1 million at Louisiana’s state-licensed casinos, off from USD 209.5 million in August.