Land-Based Casino Revenue Froze During January

Posted on February 12, 2020

Indiana’s land-based casinos didn’t profit as much in January as hoped.

Overall, table games have continued to see increases in profits, even with the introduction of Indiana online sports betting.

In September, the month that sports betting started in Indiana, casinos throughout the state profited over $27 million from table games.

Table games growth stalled in January

Since then, profits from those table games and sports betting have both been on the rise. It’s showed that the gambling market has been expanding throughout the Hoosier State. More and more money has been entering the system.

However, unlike sports betting, which grew from December-January, table game growth nearly came to a halt.

Land-based casinos profited a little over $36 million combined from traditional table games in January. That was just a bit higher than December’s profits, which didn’t quite hit the $36 million mark.

That lack of growth is a bit disappointing. January was the first full month that Harrah’s Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand Casino offered live table games.

Even with those two adding to the pile, the overall profits around the state were barely able to hold the line month-month.

Despite the profits leveling off, that isn’t due to less money being wagered.

Indiana bettors gambled about $17 million more in January than they did in December, but that just didn’t translate into more profits for casinos.

Blackjack, poker, and baccarat are still king

Although the overall profits from table games didn’t grow much from December-January, Indiana casinos still created the most revenue from the same three games in both months.

Blackjack saw its profits grow the most in January out of those three.

Combined winnings from blackjack throughout the state increased by almost $5 million to open 2020. That pushed profits over the $15 million mark for the month.

House-banked poker found some growth of its own.

Although the growth wasn’t nearly as large as blackjack’s, house-banked poker did manage to bring in almost $600,000 of increased profits for Indiana’s casinos.

Baccarat was the only one out of Indiana’s big three to take a profit hit in January.

Baccarat is particularly popular at Indiana’s northern casinos. Ameristar East Chicago and Horseshoe Hammond were responsible for approximately 80% of January’s baccarat revenue in the state.

Even with them carrying the load, casinos throughout the state profited almost $2 million less combined from baccarat in January than they did in December.

Baccarat’s numbers didn’t get much of a boost from Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand in January. The newcomers barely made $150,000 combined from the game.

Slot machine play on the rise

On the other side of the coin, electronic gaming devices saw a big surge in popularity during January.

Nine different casinos in Indiana have at least 1,000 of those devices at their locations. That gives bettors plenty of electronic options to gamble with.

That category includes things like video poker and virtual blackjack, but the vast majority of those devices are slot machines.

The coin-in numbers for Indiana’s casinos increased by over 12% from December-January. That’s a solid amount of growth in the amount of money that was wagered.

But that growth wasn’t enough to increase profits. Indiana casinos still made over $5 million less in January than they did in December from electronic devices.

That’s a disappointing return for Indiana’s operators.

January wasn’t great for Indiana’s casinos in terms of profits.

Despite that, casinos will be hoping that the growth will continue. If the amount of money wagered continues to increase, casinos will most likely see bigger profits as time goes on.

With Gov. Holcomb focused on land-based growth, that’s a trend he’d probably love to see for the state.

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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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