Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I'm not sure how they can title an article 'Hard Times in Casinos' when the three of them netted nearly 800 freaking million dollars.

From our local paper today:


Hard times hit casinos
Southeast Indiana's take falls for 1st time

Gambling revenues at Southeast Indiana's three riverboat casinos dipped slightly in 2007.

It was the first year that annual revenues and visits hadn't grown since the first of the local casinos opened in 1996.

Argosy, Belterra and Grand Victoria reported combined annual revenues of $791.1 million, a decline of less than 1 percent from 2006, according to figures released Tuesday by the Indiana Gaming Commission.

The regional dip moved in the opposite direction of Indiana's total gambling revenues of $2.6 billion, which were up 1.8 percent, or $47.2 million. Indiana has 11 casinos.

Local casinos reported mixed results for the year:

Belterra Casino & Resort raked in $168.4 million, up 0.7 percent.

Argosy Casino in Lawrenceburg saw $476.1 million in revenue, down 0.2 percent.

Grand Victoria in Rising Sun had revenues of $146.6 million, down 4 percent.

Belterra saw a 4.3 percent uptick in admissions - attracting nearly 2 million visitors in 2007 - that beat a statewide 1.1 percent dip in Indiana casino visits. The Hoosier state's casinos attracted 27.2 million visitors in 2007, a drop of more than 260,000.

Argosy saw visits decline 5.8 percent to 3.8 million, down from nearly 4 million a year earlier.

Grand Victoria attracted 1.7 million visitors in 2007 - nearly 160,000 less than in 2006, for an 8.4 percent decline.

The local casinos aren't alone in experiencing a weak 2007.

From the riverboats of the Midwest and tribal casinos scattered across the United States to gambling halls located in less exotic parts of Nevada, operators are reporting slowing growth rates in recent months. In a number of places, revenues are actually down, sometimes by 5 percent or more.

Casinos in Atlantic City, for example, are being hurt by new competition from newly legal casinos in Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, gambling revenues in Las Vegas were up.

Despite higher energy prices, a volatile stock market, a slumping housing market and fears the economy may be heading into a recession, some of the city's largest casinos were on pace for a record-setting year in 2007.

In October alone, gambling revenues on the Las Vegas Strip were up 19.8 percent over the comparable month last year.

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