💰 Indiana casinos lose millions to Ohio competitors

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The legislature ought not to be insulating any company from competitive pressures. But the riverboats still want to build on land. Local officials in Southwest Indiana agree. That's commerce. This May, for the first time since Indiana riverboat casinos opened near Cincinnati in , more metro area gambling dollars were spent in Ohio than in Indiana, according to an analysis conducted by the Cincinnati Enquirer. He opposed the expansion of gambling two years ago and appears poised to do so again. Gaming lobbyists plan to ask the General Assembly for a hand in , likely through a mix of tax breaks and more gaming options. The riverboats wanted to build large, visitor-friendly casinos on land. And more competition could come from within the state. The three nearby Indiana riverboats took in 46 percent of gambling dollars in the region, down 18 percentage points from a year ago. State lawmakers are studying the issue this summer, but a winning answer may not come easily. The reason is clear. And they were right. Lawrenceburg Clerk-Treasurer Jackie Stutz anticipates the revenue will shrink even more dramatically this year.

State officials were betting that Indiana gaming revenues would take total casino in indiana near cincinnati major hit when a downtown Cincinnati casino and two racinos opened in Ohio last year.

The racinos still want to offer live gaming. Lawmakers seem unwilling to cut their losses yet. Competition has changed the game forever. But revenues continue to plunge month by month. And local governments near casinos rely on casino revenue for basic city, county and town services such as fire protection, roadwork and infrastructure.

And it has proven to be a tremendous negative hit total casino in indiana near cincinnati the state of Indiana's bottom line.

To stay just click for source the game, Indiana's riverboat casino owners have made modest investments in their properties and boosted marketing. He's skeptical that letting riverboats build land-based casinos is the right answer.

In Michigan, the Four Winds Casino opened in near the border with Indiana and has since opened two satellite locations.

Allowing live gambling at racinos, he thinks, would just draw Central Indiana customers from Indiana's casinos. The confined space on the water prevents local riverboat casinos from fully competing with newer, fancier facilities across the state line.

The racinos in Central Indiana, which now have gambling machines, wanted to offer live gaming. But some outside the Statehouse are skeptical the state can — or should — do anything. The racinos in Anderson and Shelbyville — the only gambling operations in Indiana to post revenue increases in the last 11 months — want to add live gaming.

But at least one economist wonders if it's time to let gaming houses cover check this out own bets. That day may be far away, though. Senate leaders have the opposite take.

They've also tried to freshen up their aging properties. The Belterra, he said, is the county's largest private employer, and the money is vital to a community.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, noted "We have to find the right balance, what's right for Hoosiers and what's right for the industry. And Indiana's gambling problem goes further than Ohio. To respond, the casinos have increased advertising total casino in indiana near cincinnati Ohio total casino in indiana near cincinnati southeast Indiana, Smith said.

State legislature might change the game Gambling lobbyists, the casinos, racinos and local officials are asking their state lawmakers to ante up again.

The effect in Indiana was immediate and the drop in revenues sharp. The next closest casinos to Cincinnati, the Rising Star and Belterra, took 30 and 23 percent hits seminole indian casino immokalee revenue, respectively.

Gambling lobbyists, the casinos, racinos and local officials are asking their state lawmakers to ante up again. Call Star reporter Chris Sikich at Follow him on Twitter: ChrisSikich.

In December, one racino — a horsetrack with gambling machines — opened near Cincinnati and another in Dayton, dealing Hoosier casinos another blow. Dillon Dorrell, a member of Ohio County's County council, estimates the county's income from gaming will drop 50 percent.

Many gamblers who once flooded southeast Indiana's three riverboat casinos spent their money in Ohio during the past year. After all, some Ohio and Indiana casinos are owned by the same companies. The ,square-foot new facility features 2, slot machines, 85 table games, total casino in indiana near cincinnati events center and several restaurants.

Lawmakers will float legislation when the summer study committee concludes this fall. Others wonder why the government should prop up any of them. But he wouldn't rule out tax incentives.

An agreement, if there is one, likely won't be reached until they finish wrangling over the two-year state budget next spring. Last year, they asked for help in anticipation of the Ohio expansion but lost. Smith, the casino association chief and a former state lawmaker when the legislature approved gambling in the s, said some of the riverboats argue that state-of-the-art, land-based casinos will draw back out-of-state customers and lure more Hoosiers. Legislators, some who prefer tax breaks and some who prefer an expansion of gambling, are examining the issue this summer and appear poised to help. In Switzerland County, County Council President Mike Jones said he's concerned declining revenues will spur the casino to alter its deal with lcoal governments. State officials believe they can rely on other forms of revenue, including income and sales taxes. He appears to be in no mood for another giveback. Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, is worried about continued declining revenue projections in gaming, sales taxes and income taxes — three significant state budget funding sources. Kenley and Senate Public Policy Committee Chairman Ron Alting, R-Lafeyette, believe letting riverboat casinos — which don't actually sail — move to land would be a better solution. Now, Illinois is adding 15, virtual gaming machines at local bars and taverns, a concern especially for the four riverboats in Each Chicago, Gary and Hammond. Faced with that new reality, Indiana's casinos are wagering that state lawmakers will help bail them out. Powerful Republicans disagree on how — though perhaps not if — they should help. But more competition is headed their way from Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan. Mike Hicks, a Ball State University economist, believes gambling revenues are likely to continue to decline no matter what the state does, saying the economy remains sluggish, the competition has increased, and the novelty of gambling may be wearing off in Indiana. In Kentucky, horse tracks have been permitted to install gaming machines, a concern especially for the Horseshoe Southern Indiana and the Tropicana along the border. When gambling came to Indiana in the s, the state chose to bunch the majority of its riverboat casinos around major cities in other states, namely Chicago, Louisville and Cincinnati.