St. Charles Herald-Guide

Gamblers spend $28.5 million

By Jonathan Menard - October 25, 2012

Gamblers in St. Charles Parish continue to dump loads of money on video poker, with nearly $30 million spent on the machines in the last year.

According to statistics from the Louisiana State Police Gaming Enforcement Division, $28.5 million went into the roughly 274 machines in the parish. The figures are based on the 2012 fiscal year, which began in July 2011 and ended in June 2012.

While there is a lot of money going into the video poker machines, only 65 percent is coming back out as winnings. This year, $18.6 million has been paid out in the parish, which equals $68,016 per machine. Still, with each machine taking in an average of $104,136, the odds are not in the gamblerís favor.

While the total amount spent on video gaming is high, the 2012 total is $1.2 million less than was spent in 2011. However, there were 50 less video gaming machines in St. Charles in 2012 and the number of businesses offering video poker also dropped by four, from 43 to 39.

That equates to more money going into, and coming out of, each machine this year when compared to last year.

The total revenue of poker machines in the parish was $9.9 million with 27 percent of that going to the state general fund.

The total amount of taxes paid by area vendors to the state in 2012 was $2.7 million.

After the tax, each machine has an average profit of $26,158. Most businesses donít get to keep all that total though, and must pay a percentage of the winnings to the vendors that own each video gaming machine.

Gamblers spend $28.5 million