Lake Charles 14th largest gaming market in country

By By Eric Cormier / American Press

Lake Charles ranks as the fourteenth largest gaming market in the country according to an annual industry report.

In 2012, the region’s gambling facilities combined to collect $686.9 million. Shreveport/Bossier City ranked 13th with $715.6

million while New Orleans ranked 20th with $622 million.

Las Vegas is the top market generating $6.2 billion followed by Atlantic City at $3 billion.

According to the 2013 American Gaming

Association Survey of Casino Entertainment, “2012 national economic

impact data reveals

the U.S. commercial casino industry is going strong. On the

strength of a third consecutive year with increased rates of growth,

national gross gaming revenues for 2012 reached their

second-highest level in history behind only 2007, the last year before

the recession hit.”

Players spent $37.3 billion nationwide in 2012, a 4.8 percent increase from 2011, according to the report.

Louisiana’s 18 commercial casino operations took in $2.4 billion which was a 1.3 percent increase from 2011.

As a result, the state was able to

collect $579.4 million in taxes, an increase of 1.1 percent from 2011.

Taxable money is

used for general funds; the city of New Orleans public retirement

systems, state capital improvements and a rainy day fund.

The industry did see a drop in the number of people employed statewide at casino and gaming facilities in 2012. According

to the report, 15,061 jobs were created, down from 17,207 in 2011.

Commercial casino operations noted in the report include riverboats and land-based and racetrack casinos with slot and table

games.

During 2012, 32 million people visited the state’s commercial gambling facilities.

“Louisiana casinos took in more gross gaming (1.3 percent) revenue in 2012 than they did in 2011, due in part to the August

opening of L’Auberge Casino Hotel in Baton Rouge,” the report stated.

The top state gaming market is Nevada at $11 billion followed by Pennsylvania $3.1 billion, New Jersey $3 billion, Indiana

$2.6 billion and Louisiana.