Northwest Indiana's casinos recorded a 2.2 drop in gaming revenue in July as compared to 2017, with a $77.5 million "win" that was about $1.7 million below last July's.
The decline barely dented the casinos' year-to-date performance, which at $556 million is $4 million below the first seven months of 2017, a drop of less than 1 percent.
The calendar likely explains at least a portion of the drop, Ameristar Vice President and General Manager Matt Schuffert said.
"We traded a Saturday for a Tuesday — that will explain some of it," Schuffert said. Last July had five Saturdays; this July four. Schuffert also said the Fourth of July holiday falling on Wednesday — the furthest day from the weekend — can have an impact.
But East Chicago's Ameristar bucked the general trend with a 5.2 percent revenue increase to $19.2 million.
The growth was "really fueled by strong table game growth for us," Schuffert said.
The state's largest casino, Horseshoe in Hammond, won $32.8 million at its table games and slot machines, a 3.8 percent drop from a year ago. Gary's Majestic Star casinos took in a combined $12.1 million, down 7.5 percent from last July.
Blue Chip also recorded a decline, of 2.9 percent to $13.5 million. The Michigan City casino's gaming revenue is down 5.7 percent on the year, largely on the slot machine side of the business, where Blue Chip faces new competition from the Four Winds South Bend.
The state's 13 gambling establishments were down just under 1 percent year-over-year, with revenue of $191.2 million. For the year through July, the state's casinos and racetracks are even, with this year's $1.3 billion matching last year's.
The businesses paid the state $32.9 million in wagering taxes, a portion of which is a new "supplemental tax" that is replacing the admissions tax created when the boats still set sail.