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BusINess » Business » NWI casinos show mixed results

NWI casinos show mixed results

Northwest Indiana casino revenues were a mixed bag in October, according to revenue figures from the Indiana Gaming Commission released Tuesday.

Horseshoe Casino in Hammond posted a gain of more than 3 percent in revenue and nearly 9 percent in admissions over October 2009. Part of those gains could be attributed to a successful World Series of Poker circuit event at the Hammond casino during October, said Dan Nita, Horseshoe senior vice president and general manager. “We saw a 64 percent increase in participation in this tournament over last year,” Nita said.

Majestic Star I and II in Gary continued to show positive growth in both areas last month. Majestic Star I gained $1.13 million, or 13.7 percent, more in revenues compared with a year ago, while Majestic Star II saw an uptick of more than $700,000, or of 9.5 percent, in revenues. The two casinos share admission numbers, which increased more than 21,000 visits over October 2009 figures.

“Majestic Star has become a stronger performer this year,” said Ed Feigenbaum, the publisher of the Indianapolis-based Indiana Gaming Insight newsletter. “The corporation did mid-range renovations at the casinos, which have been people more comfortable about going there.”

Attendance numbers were up at all Northwest Indiana casinos except Ameristar in East Chicago, which still is dealing with the closure of the Cline Avenue bridge, Feigenbaum said. “The Ameristar corporation continues to say that they are the casino most impacted by the Cline Avenue situation,” Feigenbaum said. “The numbers seem to bear that out.”

Even Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City had larger attendance numbers despite posting a nearly 3 percent drop in revenues compared to a year ago. Feigenbaum said Blue Chip is positioned as a resort destination, which may account for some revenue drops over the summer months. “Maybe the weather is to blame. More people may have participated in outdoor activities because of the nice weather than in previous years,” he said.

Throughout Indiana, casinos posted overall gains in both revenue and attendance figures during October in year-to-year comparisons. It continues a trend that started earlier this year, Feigenbaum said. Added together, the five Northwest Indiana casinos recorded an overall 1 percent gain in revenues and 6 percent increase in attendance compared with October 2009.

October revenues for NWI Casinos

Casino October 2010 Revenue Change from October 2009
Ameristar $20.7 million down 8.7 percent
Blue Chip $14.98 million down 2.8 percent
Horseshoe $47 million up 3.3 percent
Majestic Star I $9.39 million up 13.7 percent
Majestic Star II $8.74 million up 9.5 percent
Total $100.81 million up 1 percent





Source: Indiana Gaming Commission

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