Northwest Indiana gaming boats are well positioned for new competition from other states, but could use some thoughtful actions by state legislators to stay on a steady course.
The industry looks favorably on current legislative efforts to simplify the admissions tax and to make tax-deductible free slot play casinos offer to patrons, said Dan Nita, senior vice president and general manager of Horseshoe Casino.
"I'm encouraged by the fact the legislative branch recognizes it has the ability to help bolster an industry that is a critical employer in our state," Nita said.
The five Northwest Indiana casinos took in total revenues of $1.11 billion total in 2012, as compared to $1.13 billion in 2011, for a 2.1 percent drop overall, according to a Times tally of Indiana Gaming Commission monthly revenue reports.
Nita and other operators feel that drop is still mainly a result of the stagnant economy and not of the nascent competition developing in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.