Indiana Casinos Decline For 24th Straight Month in AugustSeptember 24, 2014 1:38 pm
The Indiana Gaming Commission has released its monthly gambling results and unfortunately it was more of the same for the state’s 13 casinos which recorded their 24th straight month of year-over-year declines in August. In total, Indiana casinos generated $199.5 million last month, lower by 4.7% compared to the same month in 2013.
Breaking the figures down, just three of the Hoosier State’s gambling venues saw an improvement in their revenues, namely the
Tropicana Evansville up 7.5% to $10 million, the Hoosier Park Racing and Casino up 7.5% to $17.1 million, and the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino up 1.3% to $22.3 million. All other Indiana casinos returned negative growth in August.
Over the past few years, Indiana has suffered from increased competition from neighboring states such as Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio, and in 2013 the Midwestern state saw its revenues fall by 7.6% to $2.5 billion, with tax collections also plummeting to $752.4 million from their peak in 2009 of $876 million.
Overall, Indiana has now lost more than $110 million in casino revenues, a deteriorating situation which could eventually threaten the livelihood of some of the 12,900 people currently employed in the industry. However, the way to rescue Indiana’s gambling industry is not at all clear, and while lawmakers, such as Republican Rep. Tom Dermody of LaPorte, have been considering a number of ideas favorable to the industry, including allowing racinos to add live table games, other conservative lawmakers such as Gov. Mike Pence see further casino expansion as a move in the wrong direction.
Giving his take on Indiana’s casino industry decline, Ernest Yelton, executive director of the Indiana Gaming Commission, earlier this year remarked: “Most observers will say Indiana will never regain the total numbers of dollars it was used to getting. I think the goal, more realistically, is to minimize the amount of dollars that is going to be lost.”