How Terre Haute Casino Resort Performed In Its First Two Months

Posted on June 27, 2024

Indiana’s newest casino is off to a solid start in the Hoosier State.

Terre Haute Casino Resort opened its doors to the public in April. However, the Churchill Downs-owned property only opened its casino floor.

Then, in May, the property opened the rest of the resort to its patrons, including a hotel, spa, and the rest of its dining options. As a result, the location saw even more revenue in May than in April.

The property became the state’s 14th brick-and-mortar casino. Lawmakers didn’t discuss Indiana online casinos during the last legislative session, but those talks happened in previous sessions and are likely coming in the near future.

Here’s a closer look at the Terre Haute Casino’s revenue figures during its early Indiana tenure.

How Terre Haute casino did in its first two months of operation

Technically, the Terre Haute casino didn’t have a full April to operate. It opened on April 5. And again, the hotel was not in operation for that month.

Yet, the Terre Haute casino totaled $11.16 million in revenue. That accounted for roughly 5.7% of the state’s total. It ranked 10th out of the state’s 14 casinos in terms of revenue, sitting above Belterra Casino Resort, Blue Chip Casino, French Lick Resort, and Rising Star Casino.

In May, those revenue totals grew to $12.25 million. That still ranked 10th in the state, once again above those same three casinos. It accounted for 5.9% of the state’s $205.2 million in revenue that month.

Did its resort opening affect its revenue jump in May?

It certainly helped.

Terre Haute Casino Resort’s second month of operation saw $1,092,170 more in revenue than April — a good jump for the location.

Having a full month for players to partake in gambling was a plus. But those few extra days don’t necessarily signal that obvious of a reason for the jump.

Our guess is the hotel played a factor. Having a place for customers to stay, especially one branded as a luxury hotel, is crucial. Instead of worrying about traveling home, customers can spend more time in the casino are often feel more inclined to keep gaming.

Did Terre Haute pull any business from other casinos?

There aren’t many casinos in neighboring cities from which to snag business.

The closest casinos are French Lick Resort and Horseshoe Indianapolis. Both are around 93-95 miles away from Terre Haute Casino Resort — not exactly next-door neighbors.

In April, both casinos’ revenue dropped compared to March. French Lick dropped from $6.8 million in March to $5.82 million in April. Horseshoe Indianapolis went from $28.5 million to $23.8 million over that same span.

But in May, both casinos saw an uptick in their revenue. French Lick’s revenue went from $5.82 million in April to $6.86 million in May, while Horseshoe Indianapolis jumped from $23.8 million to $24.4 million.

It’s tough to say that the Terre Haute Casino Resort and the opening of its new hotel factored into these figures. Those aren’t massive drops in April for the closest casinos.

But at the end of the day, the goal is to make Terre Haute a tourist destination, and that does include drawing Indiana customers from other markets.

“Terre Haute Casino Resort has already attracted thousands of visitors from the region to enjoy an unparalleled gaming experience,” Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said. “The opening of the new luxury hotel component furthers our commitment to bringing new vibrancy to Terre Haute with this premier entertainment destination and marks a significant milestone for Churchill Downs Incorporated.”

Terre Haute Casino Resort location could be a selling point going forward

While keeping Indiana residents in-state and taking money from other Hoosier State cities is one goal, Terre Haute Casino Resort could also capitalize on the Illinois market.

It’s right along the Indiana-Illinois border and a two-hour drive from the Kentucky border. A regional economist said last year that the Terre Haute property would rely on tourism for any significant success.

With roughly 1,000 slot machines, a swimming pool, five restaurants, six different bars, a retail sportsbook and 36 table games, the $290 million product is the biggest and best gambling destination for hours. The luxury hotel is definitely a plus, too.

“This premier gaming facility will make it possible to welcome visitors from across the Midwest, the nation and the world here to Terre Haute,” Terre Haute Mayor Brandon Sakbun said during the casino’s opening. “The opportunity this creates for the people of our community is a true testament to the leaders who have worked on this project for years.”

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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa, who currently works for the USA Today Network. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

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