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BusINess » Recreation

Posts Tagged ‘Recreation’

Odds bad for land-based Gary casino

Gary’s hopes for a land-based casino may have been dashed Thursday, one month into a four-month legislative session.

Speaking with reporters, Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said he is not likely to allow a committee hearing on Senate Bill 41, permitting a Gary inland casino, until Majestic Star comes out of bankruptcy.

“Right now, I just don’t think we’re ready to deal with a land-based casino in Gary because I don’t really think we have a final answer as to who the owners are and what they really want,” Long said.
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Majestic Star leads pack in December revenue increase

Overall casino revenues this past month were up 3.2 percent at Northwest Indiana's five gaming boats as compared to December 2009. Majestic Star Casino in Gary led the way with a 22.6 percent increase. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Overall casino revenues this past month were up 3.2 percent at Northwest Indiana's five gaming boats as compared to December 2009. Majestic Star Casino in Gary led the way with a 22.6 percent increase. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Majestic Star Casino led the way among Northwest Indiana gaming boats with a 22.6 percent increase in December revenues, with its two Gary boats taking in a total of almost $16.6 million.

Overall casino revenues in December were up 3.2 percent at the five region boats as compared to December 2009, with Horseshoe Casino in Hammond raking in the top take of $41.2 million, according to the monthly revenue report from the Indiana Gaming Commission.
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Gambling on new look, brand

This artist's sketch depicts the exterior of the newly constructed Hollywood Casino pavilion and parking garage, which have replaced the property damaged by a March 2009 fire. (Illustration provided.)

This artist's sketch depicts the exterior of the newly constructed Hollywood Casino pavilion and parking garage, which have replaced the property damaged by a March 2009 fire. (Illustration provided.)

The $90 million in renovations to Empress Casino in Joliet following a March 2009 fire not only include a name and brand change but also new faces to be hired this week.

Now that the “Hollywood-style” makeover is almost complete, the operation owned by Penn National Gaming Properties is hosting a job fair Friday in anticipation of the December 22 debut of its new $65 million entertainment pavilion, restaurants and rebranding as Hollywood Casino Joliet.
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NWI casinos’ revenues rise 4 percent in November

Ameristar Casino in East Chicago notched its first monthly year-to-year revenue gain in November, with the boat raking in almost $20 million in total revenue, a 0.4 percent increase as compared to November 2009. The five Northwest Indiana boats brought in $93.7 million in total revenue in November, with four out of five boats reporting increased takes as compared to the same month a year ago. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Ameristar Casino in East Chicago notched its first monthly year-to-year revenue gain in November, with the boat raking in almost $20 million in total revenue, a 0.4 percent increase as compared to November 2009. The five Northwest Indiana boats brought in $93.7 million in total revenue in November, with four out of five boats reporting increased takes as compared to the same month a year ago. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Northwest Indiana casinos looking over their shoulders at possible new competition from Illinois notched a more than 4 percent increase in revenues in November, the monthly revenue report from the Indiana Gaming Commission shows.

The five Northwest Indiana boats raked in $93.7 million in total revenue in November, with four out of five boats reporting increased takes as compared to November 2009.
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Casino plan could amp up gambling competition

A rendering of the proposed casino in Ford Heights that would be developed by a group led by Joseph Canfora. (Rendering provided.)

A rendering of the proposed casino in Ford Heights that would be developed by a group led by Joseph Canfora. (Rendering provided.)

Cash-strapped Illinois is considering a massive casino expansion in Chicago and elsewhere that could leave nearby competitors playing for smaller stakes.

With most state governments facing serious budget problems amid plunging tax revenues, expanding or even adding gambling can seem like an attractive solution. It brings with it not only the possibility of more money without raising taxes, but also new jobs. Proponents of Illinois’ plan say it could raise up to $1 billion in new tax revenue annually for a state that could face a deficit of up to $15 billion next year.
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Former Empress chief wants to build Ford Heights casino

A former chief executive of Hammond’s Empress and Horseshoe casinos is putting dibs on any casino license that may go to Ford Heights by proposing a casino/hotel development at Ill. 394 and U.S. 30.

Joseph Canfora, head of Merit Development Group of Chicago, confirms he is still in the hunt for a southland casino, a prospect many think is now more likely with the Illinois Senate’s passage of a bill last week that would expand gambling.
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NWI casino boosters confront Illinois’ challenge

Stakeholders think Horseshoe Casino can withstand competition from Illinois. (Times file photo)

Stakeholders think Horseshoe Casino can withstand competition from Illinois.
(Times file photo)

Illinois’ gambit to embark on a wholesale expansion of gambling with five new casinos, including one in Chicago and one in the south suburbs, is being carefully watched by those with a stake in the success of Northwest Indiana’s five casinos.

Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said he thinks a casino in the south suburbs would be more of a competitor for Horseshoe than a downtown Chicago casino. But anyone who wants to compete with the Hammond boat will have his work cut out for him.

“In reality, at the end of the day, even if we have a boat on the other side of the border, it will have to stack up against Horseshoe and that will not be easy to do,” McDermott said.

Horseshoe is Indiana’s gaming heavyweight, with its annual revenues of more than $500 million per year accounting for about one-fifth of the state’s total gaming revenues.

Horseshoe generates more than $35 million in tax and revenue share for the city of Hammond, which has used the money to transform entire neighborhoods with new streets, sidewalks, sewers and even moderate-income housing.
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Dyer bowling pro shop adapts with the times

Wally Galka, second from right, owner of Galka's Pro Shop, laughs while working on bowling balls. The Dyer shop is celebrating 31 years in business. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

Wally Galka, second from right, owner of Galka's Pro Shop, laughs while working on bowling balls. The Dyer shop is celebrating 31 years in business.
(Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

Galka’s Bowling Pro Shop is celebrating 31 years in business, and founder Andy Galka is there in spirit.

Galka died in 2005, and his picture has a prominent place in the small shop in Dyer that he used to come to every day.

“He watches over us,” said son Wally, who opened the shop with his father in 1979. Whenever he has an obstacle or a business problem to overcome, it seems as though his father is there, helping him find a way.
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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.
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Highland bar offers a variety of craft beers

Owner Jason Owens looks to offer more of a selection of craft beers at Beer Geeks in Highland. (Photograph by The Times.)

Owner Jason Owens looks to offer more of a selection of craft beers at Beer Geeks in Highland. (Photograph by The Times.)

You won’t find a type of beer that is advertised during the Super Bowl at Beer Geeks. Jason Owens’ beer bar offers 20 taps of microbrews and craft beers.

“What I wanted to do here was create a type of bar that I would want to hang out at that I didn’t see in this area,” the 38-year-old Schererville resident said. “I just love to try new beer.” A friend of Owens introduced him to beers with more taste than the typical mass-produced brew. “I got into not only the beer, but the movement” of craft beer, Owens said.
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