Why Hard Rock Casino Dominates Indiana Gaming Revenue

Posted on March 25, 2024 - Last Updated on March 27, 2024

Again in February, Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana found itself at the top of casinos in the state based on revenue.

The venue, popular since its opening in Gary in 2021, is the king of casinos in the Hoosier State. It’s not hard to see why.

Its location, size and brand make it one of the most popular destinations in Indiana.

Location, location, location!

Players have a dozen casinos to choose from in the state. Indiana online casinos remain illegal, and there’s no real effort being made at this time to change that.

There’s a saying in real estate that the most important three words in that industry are “Location, location, location.” For Hard Rock Casino, its location is near perfect. While Gary is not a mecca of entertainment on its own, it sits in a fantastic place.

The town is only 30 miles from Chicago. That’s a short 30-minute drive, or even quicker by passenger train, which provides service from four points in the Windy City and travels practically to the doorstep of Hard Rock Northern Indiana.

Suppose you live in Grand Rapids (MI) or Fort Wayne. You’re a very reasonable drive from Hard Rock Casino.

The $300 million gem was built in 2021

In terms of amenities and gaming floor size, the venue is the biggest in the region.

Since last October, Hard Rock Casino in Northern Indiana has been No. 1 based on gaming revenue each month. In February, that number was above $30 million for a sixth straight month. Hard Rock routinely outpaces Horseshoe Indianapolis and Horseshoe Hammond, which are usually next in line among Indiana casinos.

The 215,000 square-foot gaming floor at Hard Rock is the second-largest in the state. It’s the newest large casino in Indiana.

It also sports the largest collection of pop music memorabilia outside of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Featured are exhibits devoted to Indiana and Gary natives, the Jackson 5. The venue cost an estimated $300 million to build, and has five restaurants, three bars, and a dynamic 1,950-seat Hard Rock Live performance hall.

The Hard Rock Northern Indiana Casino hosts a retail sportsbook where visitors can wager on sports and enjoy sporting events on many large-screen televisions. Indiana launched legal online sports betting in 2019.

Backed by Hard Rock’s commitment to excellence

The Hard Rock brand is the most recognized among casino/gaming companies in the US, according to YouGov. It rates 36th nationwide among dining brands, based on its decades of operations of popular restaurants that also serve as tourist attractions in many cities across the country.

Hard Rock has a close relationship to the gaming industry. In 2007, the brand was purchased by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which had gaming interests in that state. Hard Rock owns and/or operates branded casino/resorts in nine states, with plans for more.

Most importantly for Indiana casinos, there is a plan for a large Hard Rock Casino in Chicago, possibly as soon as 2026. That venue could displace some of the revenue generated by Chicagoans who travel to Gary for the Hard Rock experience.

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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a contributor for PlayIndiana with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He also has extensive experience covering iGaming and the launch of sports betting in states, including Ohio and Maryland, and the sports betting props — Prop 26 and Prop 27 — in California. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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