May Brings Another Decline For Indiana Casino Revenue With $192 Million

Posted on June 13, 2023 - Last Updated on June 14, 2023

The Indiana Gaming Commission reported $191.8 million in Adjusted Gross Revenue from Indiana’s 12 casinos in May. Compared to last year, revenue was down $15.7 million for the month. May’s total represents a 7.6% decrease year-over-year.

May is the third month in a row that Indiana casinos saw YoY declines in revenue, after the first two months of the year showed increases over last year.

Last month, Indiana casinos exceeded $200 million in revenue. While that figure is significantly higher than May revenue, it came up short of last April’s revenue, showing a 7.5% YoY decline.

Hard Rock and the northern casinos lead the charge

Just four licensees accounted for more than 41% of the state’s AGR. The northern licensees, mostly clustered in the northwest corner of the state and serving the Chicagoland area, brought in $79.4 million in total.

The six southern licensees combined for $65.2 million in revenue in May for 34% of the total. They are:

The final two properties are the racinos, both located in the greater Indianapolis area. Racinos feature horse racing and a full casino. These two facilities were among the five highest-earning Indiana casinos last month, bringing in 24.6% of the total revenue.

Indiana casinos falling short of last year’s benchmark

Indiana casinos took in over $2.4 billion in revenue last year, generating nearly $700 million in taxes. This year, the casinos started out strong. But they won’t catch up to last year’s total revenue at the current rate. However, with seven months left in the year, there’s still time for the tides to turn.

If they don’t, 2023 could mark the beginning of a slight slowdown for the Indiana casino industry as a whole. The state’s casinos will face new competition in the coming years.

The new Bally’s Chicago is planned for 2026 (with a temporary location opening sooner), which will give residents of that city a convenient alternative to Indiana’s northern properties. Bally’s Chicago is planned to be the largest casino in Illinois.

In addition, western Ohio residents no longer need to cross the Indiana border to place sports wagers, and there are casino options there already. Kentucky recently legalized sports betting as well, which could have a small effect on casinos near that state’s border when retail and online sportsbooks open there later this year.

That said, new competition doesn’t mean doom and gloom for the industry in the Hoosier State. Indiana’s casinos aren’t wholly dependent on neighboring states at all. In addition, new casinos could open in Indiana, and the overall gambling industry is growing.

Indiana sportsbooks already feeling the sting of new competition

Sports bettors in Indiana placed $283.5 million in bets last month, which was 8.1% less than May of last year. But the revenue made by sportsbook operators actually grew. The $33.5 million in May revenue was 5% higher year-over-year, due to an impressive 11.8% hold. That means Indiana bettors fared worse than last year. The average hold in the sports betting industry is 8%.

Indiana was undoubtedly benefiting from Ohio bettors prior to the Buckeye State launching legal sports betting this year. It was fully expected that IN sports betting handle would take a hit in 2023. Since Ohio’s sports betting launch, Indiana has seen year-over-year handle decreases every month.

According to PlayIndiana projections, Ohio will bring in double the sports betting volume that Indiana will this year. Indiana’s May handle was right in line with the projections, but the high hold percentage meant better than expected revenue.

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