Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – With the advent of casino gaming in neighboring Ohio, 2012 was a less profitable year for southeast Indiana’s three casinos.
Hollywood, Rising Star, and Belterra casinos raked in a combined $632 million in gambling revenue for the year, which is down about 6.4 percent from 2011’s revenue total of about $675 million, based on the Indiana Gaming Commission’s monthly revenue reports. The number of gamblers heading to the riverboats fell by 10 percent last year to 6.1 million in 2012.
Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg witnessed the biggest declines in the local casino market. Its revenue dropped 9.4 percent to $395.4 million and attendance was off nearly 14 percent.
Down the Ohio River in Rising Sun, Rising Star Casino & Report reported $88.3 million in revenue for the year, a decline of 5.4 percent. Attendance mirrored the slide, down 6.9 percent to 1.2 million visitors.
However, Belterra Casino in Switzerland County bucked the trend. The riverboat’s revenue increased by 1.7 percent to $148.5 million in 2012. Still, attendance fell by 3.7 percent to 1.6 million people.
Not so surprisingly, new casinos in Ohio are pointed to as the cause of the lower local numbers. The buckeye state saw three casinos open across the state in 2012: the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland and Hollywood Casino Toledo both in May, and Hollywood Casino Columbus in October. The Columbus and Toledo venues are both owned by Penn National Gaming, which also owns Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg.
Competition for tri-state gambling dollars will only grow when the Horseshoe Cincinnati casino opens in the Queen City on March 4.
Indiana’s 13 casinos combined for $2.6 billion in revenue last year, down by about 3.9 percent from $2.7 billion raked in during 2011. Twenty-four million visitors went to casinos statewide, down 3.9 percent.
Casino gaming is the third-largest source of tax revenue for the State of Indiana. In order to protect that revenue stream, a handful of state lawmakers have suggested finding ways during the newly-started 2013 legislative session to help the state’s casinos become more competitive. One of the proposals has been to allow casinos to become land-based.