Northwest Indiana’s casinos saw their revenues down in April compared with the same month last year. The five casinos together took in $80.79m in April, a 6.9pc drop from the $86.3m they obtained during April 2016.
Dan Nita, senior vice president and general manager at Horseshoe Hammond, blamed competition from video gaming machines in bars and other businesses in Illinois for the slide. “There are two divergent stories. Table games have been quite stable and grown ever so slightly, but that can’t offset the decline in slot machines due to the video gaming machines” Nita said.
Table games at Horseshoe were up 0.5pc, while the slot side was down 4.5pc last month.
Matt Schuffert, senior vice president and general manager at Ameristar in East Chicago, said Easter was another factor. The religious holiday fell in April this year and March in 2016. “Easter is always a slower weekend for us. Without that, we would have been about the same as last year,” Schuffert said.
April marked the 20th anniversary for the East Chicago casino, and it celebrated with Saturday blackjack tournaments and other smaller promotions, Schuffert added.
According to the monthly revenues released May 10 by the Indiana Gaming Commission, only Majestic Star I in Gary had an increase in revenue. The casino had revenues of $8.65m compared with $8.55m in April 2016.
Ameristar took in $18.16m last month compared with $21.16m in April 2016, Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City brought in $13.49m compared with $14.02m, Horseshoe Hammond raked in $35.11m compared with $36.62m and Majestic Star II took in $5.38m compared with $5.95m.
Nita said the casinos in Illinois fared better, down only 1pc collectively year over year. “There were some winners and some losers. We’ve seen in the last couple months that Illinois has fared better,” Nita concluded.