Ohio Competition Drives Indiana Casino Attendance Down

1.7 million gamblers played in Indiana casinos last month, the worst November for the casinos in 15 years.

casino aztar riverboat

Photo: Lori SR (Flickr)

Casinos in Indiana like the Casino Aztar Gambling Riverboat, Evansville, have lost some of their revenue from competing casinos in adjacent states.

The latest attendance figures for Indiana‘s riverboat casinos reinforce fears of a war of attrition with neighboring states.

Approximately 1.7 million gamblers tried their luck in Indiana casinos last month. That is the worst November for the casinos in 15 years, and produced the lowest revenue for any month since 2008.

Indiana Gaming Insight publisher Ed Feigenbaum says Ohio‘s new casinos are cutting into business in southeast Indiana sooner than expected, while Evansville‘s Casino Aztar saw an anticipated attendance drop while it completes a renovation.

But he says all the state‘s casinos are paying the price for the still sluggish economy, as people cut back on discretionary spending. Casinos plan to ask legislators to tweak the tax code, but Feigenbaum says there‘s not much else the state can do to help.

He says the state is locked into its decision to put all but the French Lick casino along the state‘s borders. Now that Illinois and Ohio are adding casinos, he says Indiana‘s boats will have to spruce up to hang onto the out-of-state customers they have courted.

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