Michelle Southern reporting.
According to state officials, Louisiana casinos brought in $224.1 million dollars last month which is 6.8 percent higher than February the year before. Casino Association Executive Director Wade Duty says while the revenues are up, this isn't an accurate year-to-year comparison because of the mid-December opening of the Golden Nugget in Lake Charles.
"When you do a year-to-year comparison, you're actually looking at a situation with 14 casinos versus 15 casinos," said Duty. "So that actually accounts for more than two thirds of the increase that was being reported."
Shreveport-Bossier City was up 1 percent. Opelousas and Evangeline Downs was up by 1.7 percent. Baton Rouge's riverboat casinos brought in 8.9 percent more in February this year compared to last year. Duty also says they also believe the big gains can be attributed to the lower gas prices.
"People coming in from the Texas area, and other markets that are dependent more on drive-type players," said Duty. "The lower gas prices have facilitated some increased visits."
Lake Charles saw the biggest gain with a 28 percent increase from February 2014…the difference likely inflated by the brand new Golden Nugget which opened in December. Duty says so far things look promising for the new southwest Louisiana Golden Nugget site.
"They're only 90 or so days into their operation so far," said Duty. "But they have definitely hit the ground running and it's a very impressive property so we expect good things from it."