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Louisiana Casino Revenue Drops In February, Mardi Gras Should Help

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Louisiana casinos experienced another difficult month on February, with gaming revenue dropping by almost five percent. Casino officials, however, are hopeful that the industry will rebound in March due to the Mardi Gras festivities in the state.

In February, revenue dropped to $199.5 million. That was a decrease of 4.4% from the same period the previous year, when revenue was $208.7 million. Riverboat casinos were the biggest winner, taking in $138.4 million, while casinos at state race tracks was $33 million. Land casinos pulled in another $28 million for the state.

Every year, Louisiana casinos receive a boost in revenue during Mardi Gras. The increase in business comes from thousands of tourists who flock to city of New Orleans for Mardi Gras parades and other festivities. The alcohol flows freely during Mardi Gras, and that usually leads to additional gambling in the state's casinos.

"Mardi Gras is just one of the many attractions that help Louisiana casinos each year," said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. "The jazz festivals, major sporting events, and Mardi Gras are all contributing factors to keeping Louisiana casinos busy when gaming facilities in other states are slow."

Vacations are usually taken in the summer, so casino destinations such as Nevada, New Jersey, and now even Florida and California, get an increase in gambling during the summer months. For Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and other states with large gaming industries, locals and big events are relied on to bring gamblers into the casinos.

Louisiana casinos were hoping they had turned the corner in rebounding from the economic recession back in January. The casinos experienced a slight revenue increase, causing executives to become hopeful the trend would continue in February. Unfortunately, it did not.

Casinos in Louisiana have experienced some rough times in the past decade. Hurricane Katrina stalled industry growth when several casinos had to close down due to the damage caused by the natural disaster. Just as the gaming industry was recovering from Katrina, the economic recession of 2008 stalled growth again.

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