Photo: Lori Rivera (Flickr)
Ed Feigenbaum, editor of Indiana Gaming Insight, says lower attendance and declining revenues at Indiana‘s 11 casinos will lead to a 20-30% percent drop in state revenue.
“The gaming industry is like any other industry right now,” Feigenbaum said. “We‘re seeing some problems, both in terms of the number of people that are patronizing the casinos, and the amount of money that they‘re leaving behind.”
Admissions statewide fell nearly 7% in the first half of 2011, compared with the same period last year. Revenues at the casinos and two Indianapolis-area racetracks with slot machines dipped to the lowest point in three years, falling more than $22 million to $1.39 billion during the first half of the year. Feigenbaum predicts Indiana‘s 13 casino properties will gross $2.78 billion this year, signaling an unprecedented second straight yearly decline. Still, hesays the state legislature can take small steps to soften the blow.
“Moving casinos in Indiana to a land-based proposition, giving casinos additional tax breaks for non-casino economic development investments — things like hotels, restaurants and amenities along those lines — that would give them an incentive to expand,” he said.
Ultimately, Feigenbaum predicts the state will be forced to come to terms with a major loss in tax revenue as increased competition from neighboring states exacerbates the problem.