This past month was a good one for Indiana’s casinos.
The Indiana Gaming Commission’s (IGC) February revenue report revealed a boost in overall adjustable gross revenue (AGR), with Horseshoe Hammond and Indiana Grand continuing to lead the 13 casinos in win and AGR.
Breaking down the February numbers
Indiana’s casino industry continues to grow, and nowhere is that more evident than in the February revenue data from the past three years. The 13 casinos logged the following cumulative AGR numbers from 2018 on:
The year-on-year numbers are encouraging, as February 2020’s AGR represented around a 14.2% increase. The state’s booming casino industry has certainly come a long way since its first February when casinos were on boats and the total win from table and electronic games and slots was under $65 million.
A closer look at casino revenue
On any given month, the top five revenue-earners in Indiana rarely change, and that was the case in February:
- Horseshoe Hammond: $36.7 million
- Indiana Grand: $23.4 million
- Caesars Southern Indiana: $20.0 million
- Ameristar Casino: $18.6 million
- Harrah’s Hoosier Park: $18.1 million
Horseshoe Hammond saw a more than $2 million increase in AGR. Caesars Southern Indiana was the only casino in the top five to drop in revenue. The casino’s AGR fell roughly $700,000.
Caesars Southern Indiana is perhaps the most interesting casino in terms of revenue. The casino completed 18 months of construction this past December. The construction has had a positive effect on the casino’s revenue numbers. Whereas it averaged between $14 million and $16 million in 2019, its 2020 numbers average more than $20 million.
And while eight casinos reported no free-play deductions in February (six in Jan.), Caesars Southern Indiana continued its promotions. According to the IGC’s revenue report, the casino offered more than $1 million in free play. If the casino cuts back on its free play promotions, it could affect its win and, possibly, its AGR.
Looking ahead to March’s numbers
One of the main concerns of the casino industry in Indiana and across the country is the impact of coronavirus. Any talk of casino closures up until this week was hypothetical, a worst-case type of scenario.
All that changed this week. Yesterday, the NBA announced it would suspend the season effective tonight. The news came after the NBA announced a player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19.
Then, today, the NCAA canceled its postseason tournament, sending incredible shockwaves across the sports industry.
The concern among casinos is the reason behind the NBA and NCAA cancellations: crowds. It’s well-known that coronavirus passes from person to person. Therefore, casinos will likely come under scrutiny from regulatory commissions like the IGC.
Considering the progression of the season and tournament suspensions, it’s likely that Indiana casinos will close sometime in the next few weeks. Exactly how long they’re closed is a mystery, and will likely depend on CDC recommendations as well as the virus’ prevalence in Indiana.