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11/10/2018 6:01:00 PM
Northwest Indiana's casinos hold their own in October 2018

Andrew Steele, Times of Northwest Indiana

Northwest Indiana's casinos matched last year's performance in October, taking in $76 million in gaming win for the month.

The total was less than one-quarter of one percent below October 2017, and was a 1.8 percent increase over September. 

"We rebounded a little bit in October," Horseshoe Hammond Sr. Vice President and General Manager Dan Nita said. For the year, the Region's casinos are essentially even with a year ago, down 0.7 percent to $784.4 million.

Ameristar in East Chicago led the way, as it has much of the year, with a 7.4 percent increase to $18.1 million. Gary's Majestic Star had $12.3 million in gaming revenue, up 2.2 percent from a year ago.

"We're quite pleased with October's results," said Barry Cregan, Majestic's senior vice president and general manager. Cregan said marketing efforts involving special events and gift giveaways have helped put 2018 on a good course.

"Overall, I think we've fared well," he said. 

The state's largest casino, Horseshoe in Hammond, was down 3.3 percent year-over-year, to $33.3 million. Blue Chip in Michigan City was off 4.3 percent, to $12.3 million.

Blue Chip has had the largest decline year-to-date, 5.1 percent to $127.1 million, as it faces added competition from Four Winds South Bend. But the CEO of Blue Chip parent company Boyd Gaming has expressed satisfaction with the casino's performance.

"It continues to perform ahead of our earlier projections," Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith said during a third-quarter investors' conference call.

Cregan said the Four Winds opening hasn't proven significant for the Gary casino.

"We don't see a material effect on our property whatsoever," he said.

Statewide, Indiana's casinos and race tracks had gambling revenue of $176.9 million, down 2.3 percent from a year ago. For the year through October, they had $1.9 billion in revenue, down 0.7 percent from 2017.

The state collected $40.8 million in gaming-related taxes in October.

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