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Lake Charles 14th largest gaming market in country

Last Modified: Tuesday, May 07, 2013 6:19 PM

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.

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