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11/11/2017 6:51:00 PM
Calendar blamed for revenue dip at Northwest Indiana casinos in October 2017

Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune Correspondent

Year-over-year revenues at Northwest Indiana's five casinos took a slight hit in October, blamed in large part to an unfavorable calendar.

The casinos raked in a total of $76.16 million in October, according to the monthly revenue report released Nov. 9 by the Indiana Gaming Commission. That is a 1.7 percent drop from the October 2016 revenues of $77.66 million.

"I think it's pretty encouraging," Noah Hirsch, vice president and assistant general manager of Horseshoe Hammond, said of the slight dip.

Hirsch pointed out that there were five Saturdays and Sundays in October 2016, while this year there were five Sundays and Mondays. Fridays and Saturdays typically are the busiest days at casinos.

Hirsch also was encouraged that Horseshoe was one of only two casinos in the area to post an increase in revenue. The other was Majestic Star I in Gary.

Horseshoe's streak was extended to six consecutive months of year-over-year revenue growth, Hirsch said.

"We're up almost 1 percent year to date," he said

According to the Indiana Gaming Commission, Horseshoe raked in $34.49 million last month compared with $34.47 million the previous October, and Majestic Star I generated $7.33 million in revenues compared with $7.26 million. Both revenue increases were less than 1 percent.

Ameristar Casino in East Chicago took in $16.8 million compared with $17.8 million, Blue Chip Casino brought in $12.81 million compared with $13.13 million and Majestic Star II in Gary took in $4.73 million compared with $5.0 million.

The Chicago-area casinos in Illinois fared much better in October, with a 4.1 percent hike in year-over-year revenues.

Horseshoe Hammond is installing hundreds of new slot machines, including Lighting Link, Pure Magic and Wonder 4 Tall Fortunes, Hirsch said. They will replace existing machines.

"These are some of the more popular machines, many of which have bonus rounds," Hirsch said.

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