Two NWI casinos notch May revenue increases

2014-06-09T15:30:00Z 2014-06-10T01:12:19Z Two NWI casinos notch May revenue increasesKeith Benman, (219) 933-3326

The drop in Northwest Indiana casino revenues slowed further in May, with total revenues down just 3.6 percent at the five gaming boats as compared to May 2013, according to the Indiana Gaming Commission's monthly revenue report.

Two of the gaming boats, East Chicago's Ameristar and Michigan City's Blue Chip, notched revenue increases of 3.4 percent and 3 percent respectively. It marks the first time this year monthly revenues at any casino in Northwest Indiana have bested those in the previous year.

Horseshoe Casino raked in $38.5 million in total revenue in May, a drop of 6.3 percent as compared to May 2013.

The declines in revenue at Northwest Indiana casinos reflects what is taking place nationally, as more gaming opportunities in more states continue to dilute the market, according to Horseshoe General Manager Dan Nita.

Table games continue to be a bright spot, with revenue for those up 7 percent at Horseshoe in May and 6.5 percent overall for the five gaming boats in Northwest Indiana, Nita said.

"This is not unlike every other jurisdiction in America right now," Nita said. "It's a pretty consistent story across both the Midwest and the South."

Majestic Star I in Gary raked in $8.64 million in May, a 2.7 percent drop from May 2013. At Majestic Star II, May revenues of $6 million represented a much steeper 20 percent decline as compared to May 2013.

The year opened in January with a 17 percent year-over-year drop in overall revenues at the five Northwest Indiana boats. Casino operators attributed the large drop mainly to the severe weather and road closures that continued into February. Since then, the fall in revenues has slowed, with the overall casino take down 6.4 percent in April.

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