NWI casino revenues drop as competition revs up

2013-03-07T16:00:00Z 2013-03-08T18:12:10Z NWI casino revenues drop as competition revs upKeith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326 nwitimes.com

Revenues at Northwest Indiana casinos dropped 8.8 percent in February, the second steep monthly drop in a row for the five boats, according to the February revenue report from the Indiana Gaming Commission.

The five boats had a total take of $92.9 million in February, as compared to $101.9 million in February 2012, according to the gaming commission's revenue report.

Horseshoe Casino, in Hammond, had the smallest drop at 2.6 percent. The state's largest grossing casino had a stronger finish to the month and a good first week of March, according to General Manager Dan Nita.

"We are very encouraged by the first week of March or so and hopefully that starts a more positive trend," Nita said.

The casino also hopes to benefit from the opening of the new Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati, with patrons there offered chances to come to the Hammond boat to sample the gaming and attractions in nearby Chicago, Nita said.

In addition to Horseshoe, all four other boats in the region saw revenues drop.

The largest drop was 16.2 percent at Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City. Revenues declined 13.6 percent at Ameristar Casino in East Chicago. Revenues at the two Majestic Star boats in Gary dropped 12.8 percent.

Video gaming went live at Illinois bars, truck stops and fraternal organization in September, but Nita said it is still difficult to say if that gaming is cutting into attendance at Indiana casinos.

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