Nevada Casino Operators Affected by Hurricane Harvey

Lake Charles Casinos - Hurricane Harvey Houston Gamblers

Boyd Gaming is one of the three Nevada casino firms impacted the most by Hurricane Harvey.

Three Nevada casino companies are concerned about Hurricane Harvey damaging their business. All three Las Vegas operators have casinos within two hours driving distance from Houston and the northernmost stretches of East Texas coastline.

The three companies preparing to deal with the fallout of the hurricane which hit the Houston area are Boyd Gaming, Eldorado Resorts, and Pinnacle Entertainment. Each has casino operations in Louisiana, including Lake Charles.

Lake Charles has 9 different land-based casinos. Though they are situated in western Louisiana, the Lake Charles casinos‘ main customer base is Houston, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Only New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago have more people.

Hurricane Harvey Impacts Nevada Casino Firms

Any trouble which hits Houston is bound to hurt business in Lake Charles, which is a 2-hour drive from Houston. When Hurricane Harvey dumped 40 inches of rain in the area last week, it caused catastrophic flooding. Houston-area residents are concerned about surviving the floods. Those who are safe are concerned about preserving their homes and property.

Though the rain damage to Louisiana is small, there are tens of thousands of Texas residents displaced by the hurricane. Hundreds of thousands are dealing with the affect-effects. In such a situation, Houstonians are not planning trips to gamble.

Troy Stremming of Pinnacle Entertainment, which owns L’Auberge Casino in Lake Charles, said his company is preparing for a hit to its business in the area. Stremming said, “No doubt there will be some impact on business in the short-term.”

Some Texans Seek Out Lake Charles

The impact is not completely negative, though. For more well-to-do patrons, conditions along the Texas coastline may drive customers to the Lake Charles resorts. Stremming said that conditions in Beumont, a Texas coastal town of 120,000, make it likely that residents with the means to leave the area will rent a hotel room in Lake Charles.

Referring to the situation in Beaumont combined with the usual Texas heat in late-August and early-September, the Pinnacle Entertainment executive said, “It is uncomfortable to be in that hot environment without water.”

L’Auberge’s Hotel Is at Capacity

For instance, L’Auberge’s hotel, which has 1000 rooms, was at full capacity on Labor Day Weekend. Labor Day is one of the busiest weekends of the year for Lake Charles casinos, because it is seen as the last summer holiday for people to take a 3-day weekend. Some of the traffic comes from South Texas, though L’Auberge draws loyal customers from many places on a holiday weekend.

Besides L’Auberge Casino, Pinnacle Entertainment owns a casino each in Baton Rouge and Bossier City, which are further from the devestation in Houston. Stremming said the Pinnacle casinos in those cities have seen almost no impact from Hurricane Harvey.

Harvey’s Impact on Delta Downs

David Strow, a spokesman for Boyd Gaming, predicted that the numbers for Delta Downs, a racetrack-casino 27 miles from Lake Charles, likely would be affected. Strow said, “Delta Downs draws heavily from Houston and east Texas. We are still assessing what that means for our business, but it is premature to provide specific details or predictions on business volumes.”

Las Vegas Companies and Typhoon Hato

Meanwhile, three Las Vegas casino companies have been affected by a hurricane on the other side of the globe. Typhoon Hato strucks the southern coast of China, including the cities of Hong Kong and Macau. Several of Macau’s casinos shut down in the aftermath of the tropical storm, which is considered the biggest storm to hit Macau since 1968.

The three Vegas companies affected are Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts, and Wynn Resorts. In the wake of Typhoon Hato, all three pledged money to relief operations in Macau. Steve Wynn offered similar resources to Houston hurricane relief. Local officials rated the typhoon a Category 3 storm (on a scale of 1 to 10), while Hong Kong officials warned their citizens of a Category 9 storm. The lack of prior warning left Macau residents and tourists in the path of a dangerous hurricane without proper warning.