Louisiana casinos to see double-digit revenue drop due to Hurricane Ida
By Bob Garcia
Louisiana casinos continue to have difficulty recovering and finding solid ground
According to a gaming industry analyst, Louisiana could see a decline in casinos by approximately 19% after being heavily devastated by Hurricane Ida’s Category 4 winds more than a week ago. Disasters like these are difficult to predict, and clearly, the casino industry had no way to avoid taking heavy monetary losses in the wake of the severe impacts on the state.
Carlo Santarelli said a week ago that casino companies operating in the Pelican State can expect double-digit percentage drops in gaming revenues. These casinos remain closed more than a week after Hurricane Ida made landfall. About 20% in gross gaming revenue declines are expected in August, compared to figures reported in the same period in 2019. “If we assume the daily spend per measured visitor in August is akin to the 33.2 percent two-year increase in July, it would imply a 19 percent two-year gross gaming revenue decline in Louisiana in August, relative to the 9.7 percent two-year increase in July,” Santarelli’s report said.
Hurricane Ida is considered one of the most powerful storms in history, and its chaos was so great that it knocked out power to much of the state. A utility tower near Avondale was toppled by the high winds, causing a major outage. All of the casinos around New Orleans, including the largest in the market, Harrah’s New Orleans, have remained closed and that takes a heavy toll on earnings.
“Our properties, Harrah’s Gulf Coast (Biloxi, Mississippi), Harrah’s New Orleans, and Belle of Baton Rouge, were all closed over the (Aug. 28) weekend in advance of Hurricane Ida’s landfall,” a Caesars Entertainment Inc. spokeswoman said. The state is making every effort to make a speedy recovery, but there is still no estimated date as to when everything will be back to normal and casino operations will get back on track.