Indiana Casinos Perform Very Well Amid COVID-19 Restrictions

Posted on July 21, 2020 - Last Updated on July 20, 2020

It’s been over a month since Indiana’s casinos reopened their doors.

June 15 was the first day of taking bets since casinos closed for business back in mid-March.

With everything shut down, online sports betting became the gambling industry’s only source of income in Indiana. Casinos without an online sportsbook partner sat for months with no revenue coming in.

Despite it being the first month back in the saddle, most of the Hoosier State’s casinos put up some strong numbers.

Since they were only open for half of June, casinos didn’t have a chance to rack up a full month’s worth of revenue.

However, Indiana casinos were still more than on pace for a typical June. If they had been open for the entire month, they likely would have exceeded their pre-pandemic revenue numbers.

Pandemic hasn’t discouraged Indiana gamblers

A casino trip right now comes with a lot of extra steps.

That’s because every casino in the state has to follow a ton of new safety rules to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Those rules include things like mask requirements at some properties, and limits to the number of players at table games.

But Hoosiers flocked to the state’s casinos despite having to follow those new guidelines.

At least for now, any concerns about the health crisis deterring bettors from visiting Indiana casinos have been put to rest.

The taxable adjusted gross revenues for most casinos are already back to pre-pandemic levels.

Had they reopened on June 1 instead of June 15, most of the state’s casinos would have been on pace to outperform an average June. Here’s a look at each casino’s June 2020 revenue compared to its average revenue during the same month from 2017 to 2019:

Casino June 2020 RevenueProjected Revenue, Had Casinos Been Open All MonthAverage June Revenue 2017-2019
Total Revenue$98,904,685$197,809,370$176,678,201
Ameristar$11,231,827$22,463,654$17,725,093
Belterra$4,450,287$8,900,574$9,385,855
Blue Chip$6,011,591$12,023,182$12,935,749
Caesars Southern Indiana $9,584,716$19,169,432$19,402,084
French Lick$2,625,239$5,250,478$8,118,676
Harrah's Hoosier Park$8,510,048$17,020,096$15,316,930
Hollywood Lawrenceburg $9,508,822$19,017,644$13,921,651
Horseshoe Hammond$19,503,240$39,006,480$32,250,531
Indiana Grand$12,455,646$24,911,292$20,124,592
Majestic Star$4,308,515$8,617,030$7,286,254
Majestic Star II$1,593,363$3,186,726$4,907,186
Rising Star$2,389,032$4,778,064$3,825,931
Tropicana Evansville$6,732,359$13,464,718$11,477,669

Considering the circumstances, many of Indiana’s casinos overachieved. It suggests that there was some pent-up betting demand while everyone was stuck inside during the shutdowns.

Casinos near the Illinois border did particularly well.

For example, Ameristar and Horseshoe Hammond certainly benefited from their proximity to Chicago.

That geographic advantage was even bigger during June, since Illinois casinos didn’t reopen until July. With everything still shut down, flocking to the Indiana side of the border was the only option for Illinois gamblers.

Table game revenue holds strong

Table games had a surprisingly strong June.

There are plenty of anti-coronavirus rules out there for table games that casinos have to follow.

Right now, table games can only have a max of three players. Roulette can have up to four players and craps tops out at six.

Many table games were also removed from casino floors or taped off to promote social distancing.

Indiana casinos pulled in over $16.6 million just from table games in June. That was on pace to break the $33 million mark if casinos were open for the entire month.

That’s well above the $27.5 million average that casinos combined for in June from 2017 to 2019.

So even with fewer games on the floor and fewer players sitting at them, revenue from table games was still on pace to outperform an average June.

The strong showing is certainly a welcome one, and it’ll hopefully continue in future months.

The Indiana Gaming Commission won’t release July’s numbers until August 10.

However, when those numbers do come out, they’re likely to be at least on par with a typical month. If July follows June’s lead, we could have another bigger than expected revenue month on the horizon.

 

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a sports writer based in Indianapolis, IN. He's an Indiana University graduate who's spent time as a sports reporter covering teams at the prep, collegiate and professional levels.

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