NW Indiana Casinos Suffer Revenue Decline After Chicago Casinos Open

Posted on January 30, 2024

Indiana casinos experienced declines in revenue for most of 2023, snapping a nine-month streak of down months year over year in December. While the year wasn’t great for casinos across the Hoosier State, two in Northwest Indiana found themselves hit the hardest.

Horseshoe Hammond and Ameristar East Chicago experienced the worst year-over-year adjusted gross revenue decline through the second half of 2023. The casinos accounted for more than half the state’s drop in AGR during that time.

These casinos and Hard Rock Northern Indiana are within a short drive from Chicago, where two temporary casinos opened in 2023. Hard Rock has also taken a year-over-year hit while greater Chicagoland’s seven casinos combined to eclipse $100 million in revenue this past December.

Horseshoe Hammond, Ameristar in freefall

As Illinois and Indiana online casinos both remain illegal, the battle for the area’s gambling business is more contested than ever before.

Indiana’s retail casino market remains larger than Illinois’s, generating $192.7 million in December adjusted gross revenue (AGR), compared to $141.2 million in Illinois. Nonetheless, Indiana casinos are feeling the competition.

Nine of the 12 Indiana casinos surpassed $50 million in AGR through the second half of 2023, but none showed year-over-year gains from 2022. The state experienced a $57.1 million decline statewide (-4.9%).

Five casinos did worse than that 4.9% drop. Horseshoe Hammond (-12.91%) more than doubled that percentage, and Ameristar Casino (-9.34%) far exceeded it.

Furthermore, the two casinos combined for $28.6 million year-over-year AGR declines, or 50.1% of the statewide total.

Caesars Southern Indiana, Harrah’s Hoosier Park and Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg also pulled the state average in the wrong direction.

Indiana Casino Revenue Decline in Second Half of 2023 By Percentage Drop

CasinoAGR 2nd Half of 2022AGR 2nd Half of 2023Year-Over-Year ChangePercentage
Horseshoe Hammond$157,146,592$136,862,461-$20,284,131-12.91%
Ameristar Casino$89,075,058$80,756,050-$8,319,008-9.34%
Caesars Southern Indiana$118,755,679$111,726,043-$7,029,636-5.92%
Harrah's Hoosier Park$113,113,152$106,460,454-$6,652,698-5.88%
Hollywood Lawrenceburg$73,527,529$69,899,835-$3,627,694-4.93%
Statewide Totals$1,164,456,423$1,107,388,789-$57,067,634-4.90%
Bally's Evansville$80,873,216$77,566,545-$3,306,671-4.09%
Hard Rock N. Indiana$202,755,626$197,193,707-$5,561,919-2.74%
Blue Chip Casino$60,109,089$59,425,953-$683,136-1.14%
Horseshoe Indianapolis$165,181,375$163,429,539-$1,751,836-1.06%

How Chicagoland casinos fit into the picture

The new age-old question: How much are Chicago casinos cannibalizing their competitors’ business in Indiana?

Last year’s opening of the temporary Bally’s Chicago and American Place casinos brings the total number of Chicagoland casinos to seven. Four of the five with history showed YoY gains in December AGR.

  • Rivers Casino Des Plaines: $45.4 million AGR (-3.9% YoY)
  • Grand Victoria Casino: $12.8 million AGR (+0.4% YoY)
  • Harrah’s Joliet: $11.3 million AGR (+7% YoY)
  • Bally’s Chicago Casino: $8.5 million AGR
  • Hollywood Casino Aurora: $8.5 million AGR (+4.7% YoY)
  • The Temporary by American Place: $8.2 million AGR
  • Hollywood Casino Joliet: $8.1 million AGR (+16.2% YoY)

Here’s how those numbers stack up against December revenue from Indiana casinos:

  • Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana: $34.1 million AGR
  • Horseshoe Hammond: $21.9 million AGR
  • Ameristar Casino: $13.7 million AGR
  • Blue Chip Casino: $10.6 million AGR

Rough days ahead for Northwest Indiana casinos?

Four Indiana casinos within 60 miles of Chicago maintained eight-figure AGRs in December, something only three Illinois casinos accomplished.

Year-over-year declines may be the norm as the Chicago casino industry grows and some money disperses away from Indiana.

The honeymoon phase of Chicagoans needing to come to Indiana to gamble is over. Regardless, Indiana casinos have plenty to offer and will remain robust in the bigger picture, even when Chicago’s permanent casinos open and reach maturity.

Photo by PlayIndiana
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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby is a proponent of safe, legal betting, and is grateful to be able to contribute to growing the industry. He has a background in poker, sports, and psychology, all of which he incorporates into his writing.

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