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Ohio competition sends Indiana casino revenues down

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Indiana's riverboat casino revenues fell 4.4 percent in March, dragged down by declines at two southeastern Indiana venues that faced their first month of head-to-head competition with a Cincinnati casino, according to figures released Tuesday by the Indiana Gaming Commission.

Revenue at Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, the state's second largest, fell 25 percent compared to the same month last year, and revenue at the Rising Star Casino in Rising Sun fell 23 percent, the figures showed.

The Hollywood decline amounted to $9.8 million, and Rising Star's revenues fell about $2 million, The Indianapolis Star reported.

In Ohio, the new $400 million Horseshoe Cincinnati casino opened March 4 and raked in $21 million during March, the Ohio Casino Control Commission reported Monday.

Steve Jimenez, general manager at Rising Star, attributed most of the decline at his operation to Horseshoe.

"Obviously when a casino opens, everyone goes and checks it out," he said. "Eventually they go back to the places they like to go to, but some don't."

Indiana lawmakers have a stake in the riverboats' fortunes because casino taxes account for the third largest source of revenue for state government, and they're trying to agree on legislation that would help Indiana casinos become more competitive.

A bill approved Tuesday by the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee would remove a tax on free-play coupons that casinos use to lure visitors. Ohio does not tax free play. The casino industry also wants to allow riverboat casinos to move ashore and to allow live table games at the state's two horse track-casinos in Anderson and Shelbyville. The racinos now have only slot and video machines.

Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown said the bill likely will undergo changes when the House and Senate iron out the differences in their separate versions of the bill.

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  • Interesting
    Seems to me that Hoosiers are better at handling free access to casinos than they are free access to McDonalds. A gambling addiction isn't going to kill you, but being obese is. If you want to create a nanny state, at least create a beneficial one.
  • Get out of Gambling
    Any one who has been to a horse racing track, or stood in line where lottery tickets are sold, knows that many people who gamble are the least able to pay for it. Being able to gamble is anyone's right and government should only step in when laws are being broken by the gamblers such as cheating. Should the State be the House though? It seems to me to be a contradiction to be both in business of taxing people to give to the poor, and in the business of helping people become poor. Maybe we should react to the gambiing in other states by opening gambling rehabilatation centers near the border where gambling establishments are in other states.
  • Subsidy!
    OH NO!!!!!! Now how are we going to subsidize vehicle ownership and highway expansions?!?!

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  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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