Northwest Indiana's five casinos held steady in June, with total year-over-year revenues dipping about 1 percent and three of the casinos showing modest gains.

Year-to-date, the casinos' revenues dropped 3.6% compared to the first six months of last year, an improvement over the first quarter's performance, when revenues suffered as a result of a bitter cold beginning to the year.

"We had a dreadful January due to the Polar Vortex by the lake," said Dan Nita, regional president for Caesars Entertainment and general manager of Horseshoe Hammond.

Meanwhile, Horseshoe Hammond, on the heels of a good month, is moving forward with carving out a 5,300-square-foot area on its casino floor for sports betting, with plans of providing the new offering recently approved by the state Legislature in September.

"We're spending a lot of time regarding our sports betting opportunity. We're moving around slot machines to accommodate it and walls will be going up next week," Nita said.

He said the sports betting area will be located at the base of the escalator leading up to The Venue, which is now undergoing a renovation.

Regarding revenue, the region’s five casinos took in $75.48 million in June compared to $76.04 million during the same month last year, according to the monthly revenue report issued Thursday by the Indiana Gaming Commission.

Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, Horseshoe Hammond and Majestic Star II Casino in Gary each saw slight increases in revenues, while Ameristar Casino in East Chicago and Majestic Star I Casino in Gary had revenue drops.

Blue Chip took in $12.96 million in revenues last month, a 2.4% climb from $12.66 million the previous June; Horseshoe Hammond raked in $32.42 million in revenues, 1.3% more than the previous June's $32 million; and Majestic Star II brought in $5.06 million in revenues compared to $5.01 million, a 1% bump.

On the negative side, Ameristar raked in $18.05 million in revenues, a 4.8% drop from the previous June's $18.95 million, and Majestic Star I took in $6.99 million compared to $7.42 million, a 5.8% decline.

"Horseshoe Hammond was the highlight. We grew on all relevant measurements," Nita said, including volume and win growth in both the slot and table business.

As for any possible changes to the Hammond casino as a result of Eldorado Resorts' announcement last month that it will buy Caesars Entertainment for $8.58 billion, Nita said it's too early to speculate. However, he expects the popular Caesars Rewards promotion program to continue.

Eldorado Resorts is based in Reno, Nev.
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