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Gaming revenue at Northwest Indiana's casinos was down less than 2 percent in October as compared to a year ago, totaling about $76.2 million for the month.

The 1.9 percent drop left 2017 off about 1.2 percent for the first 10 months. Year-to-date gaming win was $789.7 million.

Horseshoe Casino in Hammond showed a slight uptick for the month, up 0.1 percent year-over-year to $34.5 million.

"We feel pretty good," said Noah Hirsch, vice president and assistant general manager at Hammond's Horseshoe Casino. He said October marked Horseshoe's sixth straight month of year-over-year gains.

Horseshoe was the only gainer for the month, with East Chicago's Ameristar down 5.6 percent to $16.8 million, Michigan City's Blue Chip down 2.4 percent to $12.8 million and Gary's Majestic Star casinos down 1.6 percent to $12.1 million.

Weekends tend to see higher play than weekdays, and this October had one fewer Saturday and one more Tuesday than October 2016, Hirsch noted.

The number of patrons entering Northwest Indiana casinos dropped 4.4 percent in October, to just under 764,000. October continued a trend of casinos' per-patron gaming increasing.

Table game play rose significantly, increasing 8.1 percent to $86.4 million gambled. But the casinos' win was up only 1.1 percent, to $17.4 million. Slot machine play was down 0.9 percent to $618.8 million, with the casinos take down 2.8 percent to $58.8 million.

Casinos have attempted to arrest the slide in slot play by refreshing gaming options. "We're in the process of installing hundreds of new slot machines," Hirsch said of Horseshoe. The new machines will offer trending playing features, replacing older machines.

Casinos across the state line had a better October. Chicago-area casinos in Illinois had a "monster month," Hirsch said, up 4.1 percent year-over-year.

Statewide, Indiana's 13 gaming establishments recorded $181.1 million in revenue, down just 0.3 percent from October 2016.

Indiana's casinos paid the state $38.4 million in wagering tax, and $3.8 million in admission tax.


Transportation Reporter

Andrew covers transportation, real estate, casinos and other topics for The Times business section. A Crown Point native, he joined The Times in 2014, and has more than 15 years experience as a reporter and editor at Region newspapers.