NWI casino revenues notch solid increase

2012-09-10T15:30:00Z 2012-09-11T12:56:03Z NWI casino revenues notch solid increaseBy Keith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326 nwitimes.com
September 10, 2012 3:30 pm  • 

Northwest Indiana casinos broke a five-month losing streak in August, raking in $93.3 million in revenue, a 5.5 percent increase as compared to August 2011, according to the Indiana Gaming Commission's monthly revenue report.

It was the first month since February where the five boats in total increased revenues on a year-to-year basis. They were led by Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, where revenue increased 12.6 percent.

While casino revenues were up in Northwest Indiana, they were down overall in Illinois, with the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines suffering the largest year-to-year drop of any casino at 23 percent.

Because Rivers Casino opened in July 2011, casino operators are now able to compare their revenues to past months in which the Illinois casino was fully part of the competitive mix, said Horseshoe General Manager Dan Nita.

The jury is still out on what the Rivers Casino's long-term effect on the Northwest Indiana market will be, but Horseshoe will continue to push ahead with improvements to counter any new competition, Nita said.

"We are never content with the market share we have," Nita said. "Our goal is always to show patrons that we are a better gambling destination than anywhere else."

Only Ameristar Casino in East Chicago saw a revenue decline, with its $19.2 million take for August down 4.9 percent from the year-ago month when it took in $20.2 million.

The two Majestic Star boats in Gary took in combined revenues of $16.7 million, a 4.1 percent increase from August 2011.

Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City had August revenue of $15.4 million, as compared to $14.9 million in August 2011, representing a 3.5 percent increase.

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