Louisiana casinos win $234 million in February - Friday 21st of March 2008

La. Louisianas state-licensed casinos won just above $236 million from gamblers in February, a sharp jump from last year, helped along by special events in New Orleans, two additional casino outlets and the leap month with an extra day.

In February 2007, gamblers lost $212.4 million at the casinos.

Harrahs New Orleans Casino had its second-best month ever, pulling in $37.7 million. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board was told by its staff Tuesday that performance was largely due to the early Mardi Gras season and the NBA All-Star game held last month in the city.

In February 2007, Harrahs tallied $30.2 million in winnings.

Thirteen riverboats pulled in $161.2 million last month, compared with $150.8 million by 12 floating casinos in February 2007. The latest addition - the Amelia Belle near Morgan City - won $4.9 million last month.

The slot machines casinos at all four of the states race tracks won $35.2 million last month. Three of those casinos took in $31.4 million in February 2007. The latest addition to those casinos at the New Orleans Fair Grounds won $2.5 million last month.

Among the states gambling markets:

- Shreveport-Bossier City, which includes five dockside boats and the Louisiana Downs track casino, took in $75.7 million last month, up from $73.2 million in February 2007.

- The Lake Charles market, which has three riverboats and the Delta Downs casino, picked up $55.8 million in February, up slightly from $54.1 million in February 2007. That market had the single-largest winning riverboat in Pinnacle Entertainment Inc.s LAuberge Du Lac, which took in $26.5 million, and the largest-winning track casino in Boyd Gaming Corp.s Delta Downs, where players left behind $15 million.

- The New Orleans market, which also has two riverboats, won $66.5 million, compared with $54.7 million in February 2007.

- The two-riverboat Baton Rouge market tallied $21.5 million in winnings last month, just a tad more than the $21.1 million won in February 2007.

- The Amelia Belle near Morgan City won $4.9 million last month. That casino did not open until May 2007.

- The Evangeline Downs track casino at Opelousas took in $9.6 million last month, up from $9.1 million in February 2007.

The figures do not include the three Indian reservation casinos in Louisiana, which are not required to report their winnings to the public.

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