Louisiana Casinos Hoping Mardi Gras Brings Increase in Revenue
Louisiana has been dealing with national attention the past couple of years for some unfortunate circumstances. First, there was Hurricane Katrina that ravaged through the area and created widespread devastation. Then, the economic recession caused the recovery from Katrina to slow, leaving the area struggling to find closure.
The past year has been better for Louisiana, and in particular, the gaming industry. While revenue has not fully come back to pre-recession levels, it has started to inch higher. Starting this week, the casinos in the state will experience the annual boost in revenue that is associated with Mardi Gras.
New Orleans has become the focal point of the US each February with their Mardi Gras celebration. Each year, hundreds of thousands of travelers come from around the world to experience the sites and sounds of the Mardi Gras parades and party's. This year has been no different, as vacationers are lining the streets of New Orleans.
"The casinos are always more packed because of Mardi Gras," said Louisiana resident Brian Frank. "It's just like it is when the national championship is in town, or the Super Bowl. A lot of tourists, spending big money, and we are the beneficiaries of that."
Louisiana casinos were on the rebound last year when flooding in the Gulf Coast caused closures for several days. A couple of casinos even had to stay closed for an entire week. It was a setback, but the casinos have since started to see regulars coming back more often than they had before the recession.
"We just had a string of bad luck over a couple year period," said Grace Lantknow, a dealer in a popular Louisiana casino. "I have seen some things changing recently, and I'm looking forward to the Mardi Gras crowd. While they can sometimes be unruly, for the most part, they are good gamblers that come with a lot of money to spend."
Louisiana was once considered one of the top gaming destinations in the US. Recent expansion in states such as Pennsylvania, Florida, California, and Iowa have made it difficult for Louisiana casinos to keep up. Analysts still see the state as having a top five gaming revenue in the US.
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