Admissions at Indiana’s 11 casinos dropped nearly 7% in the first half of 2011, compared with the same period last year. Slot machine revenue at Indiana casinos and racetracks sunk to the lowest point in three years, falling to $1.39 billion during the first half of the year, and losing more than $22 million compared with the first half of 2010.
Revenue at five Ohio River casinos (Horseshoe Southern Indiana, French Lick Resort & Casino, Casino Aztar, Belterra Casino Resort & Spa and Grand Victoria Casino & Resort) dropped for third consecutive year while admissions have declined or increased only nominally in the same period.
Hollywood Casino Hotel Lawrenceburg, which spent $336 million on a new boat in 2009, seen revenues drop by $2 million the first half of this year. The Horseshoe casino suffered the biggest decline in the region. The casino, which had to ceased its operations for 15 days this spring because of flooding, reported a 15% decline in attendance and an 8.3% decrease in revenues during the first half of 2011, compared with the first six months of 2010.
In addition to the bad weather conditions, raising gas prices and the possibility of another economic recession, several studies estimated that the opening of new properties in the state limit, including new casinos in Chicago, Michigan, and Ohio, would likely have a deep impact in the state’s gaming industry.
Ohio casino market could cause Indiana casinos a 20% to 30% percent loss. A study conducted by Spectrum Gaming Group concluded that the three Indiana boats, which now offers services to patrons from Cincinnati and Dayton, could see annual revenues decline by $390 million, causing state a $122 million loss in gaming takes every year. The study also points that the southwest gaming properties including Horseshoe Southern Indiana, French Lick and Aztar are expected to face a fierce competition from Kentucky, where two new casinos could cost southwest properties as much as $97 million in annual revenues.