The Real Facts Behind Harrah’s Casino Gaming Revenue Revealed
Gaming revenue reports reveals downward trend across the state
New Orleans, La. – July 24, 2015 – Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans has been experiencing a decade-long decline in revenue, well before the recent smoke-free ordinance was passed and implemented, clearly demonstrating there is much more than an important public health regulation behind their monthly financial fluctuations.
“The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) recently evaluated 10 years worth of financial data reported by Harrah’s,” said Tonia Moore, Associate Director for TFL. “This information is posted publicly by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board on their website. The results without a doubt support the fact that Harrah’s continuing efforts to tie their revenue losses to the smoke-free ordinance are completely unfounded and unable to be substantiated.”
The Smoke-Free NOLA Ordinance went into effect on April 22, 2015. On July 24th, Harrah’s Casino released their June 2015 gross gaming revenue (GGR) report and claimed that the ordinance negatively impacted their revenue. Harrah’s June 2015 GGR was 14.0 percent lower than May 2015 ($20,727,527 vs. $24,113,961). It is premature and misleading to claim that the smoke-free ordinance is mainly responsible for this decline based on roughly two months of revenue data (April 22, 2015- June 30, 2015). TFL data analysis suggests that other factors should be considered when accounting for declining GGR, as the figures in the document linked below indicate a downward trend in revenue before the ordinance went into effect.
Additionally, all Louisiana gaming facilities, including riverboats, have been experiencing declines.
“No one should take these dire statements blaming a single city regulation at face value. Adjustment to anything new takes time, as has been demonstrated in numerous other cities across the nation. We must keep in mind that despite all the negativity being touted by Harrah’s officials, the health of all of our service industry employees, entertainers, residents and visitors is the most important factor. Additionally, looking at the data for all of Louisiana gaming over time clearly shows a fairly consistent downward trend in the summer months, especially June, which only adds to the long list of factors that must also be considered when weighing these kinds of declines. It is unfortunate that this one company continues to battle to put their employees back into a dangerous and unhealthy environment, and we’re grateful for all of those who are still standing strong and embracing a smoke-free New Orleans,” added Moore.
This ordinance was created to protect the health of ALL – and since only 28 violations have been reported to the New Orleans Health Department, it is clear that people are accepting and embracing the change. We know tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death nationwide. Smoking kills 7,200 Louisianans every year and costs Louisiana almost $1.9 billion annually in health care costs. Eliminating smoking in indoor spaces is the only way to fully protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke exposure.
The TFL’s Harrah’s Casino Gross Gaming Revenue Report is attached.
To access the revenue reports, visit the Louisiana Gaming Control Board’s website: http://lgcb.dps.louisiana.gov/revenue_reports.html.
For a great resource to understand gaming versus non-gaming revenue and nationwide trends in gaming habits, click here: http://smokefreecasinos.org/new-orleans-smokefree-casino-update/.
The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living
The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Tobacco Control Program (LTCP) coordinate their efforts in tobacco prevention and control by providing statewide coordination of existing tobacco control initiatives, funding innovative community programs for tobacco control, offering services for people who are ready to quit and developing statewide media campaigns to help reduce the excessive burden of tobacco use on the state’s resources and improve the overall health and quality of life in Louisiana. For more information visit www.tobaccofreeliving.org. To find out more about the dangers of secondhand smoke and show your support for a 100-percent smoke-free Louisiana, visit www.letsbetotallyclear.org.
About the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium (LCRC)
The Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium of New Orleans provides a structure in which Tulane University Health Sciences Center and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - the state's two leading medical research institutions - will work together and coordinate cancer research development in preparation for recognition as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) - Designated Cancer Center. The consortium is funded through five cents of the tobacco excise tax, three cents to fund infrastructure and cancer research program development for the new Consortium and two cents for tobacco control and prevention programs. Conservative estimates indicate that approximately $10 million per year will be generated from this revenue source. For more information, visit www.lcrc.info.
About the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI)
Founded in 1997, The Louisiana Public Health Institute’s mission is to promote and improve the health and quality of life in Louisiana through public-private partnering at the community, parish and state levels. By fostering collaborative endeavors in the areas of health information, public policy, applied research, and community capacity enhancement, LPHI works to develop community-oriented solutions that improve the health of the Louisiana population. For more information, visit www.lphi.org.