Hard Rock Casino hits all the right notes in February

The Times Of Northwest Indiana
Hard Rock Casino hits all the right notes in February
Wild Casino

The Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana continues to be a hit.

Data released Friday by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) show Hard Rock in February tallied more "win," or revenue after paying successful bettors, than any of the 11 other commercial casinos in the state for a 17th consecutive month.

Hard Rock recorded $34.4 million in win last month — a 9% increase compared with its February 2022 win of $31.6 million.

The Gary entertainment destination also accounted for nearly 17% of the state's $204.9 million in total casino win for the second month of 2023.

Matt Schuffert, president of Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, credited the mild February weather for boosting the fortunes of Hard Rock and other Region casinos on a year-over-year basis.

"February was another solid month for Hard Rock with year over year growth of nearly 10%," Schuffert said. "We are getting extremely positive feedback on our all-you-can-eat crab leg offering in our Fresh Harvest buffet on Thursdays, along with some new and exciting high limit slot machines with more on the way."

Schuffert expects the good times will continue at Hard Rock in the months ahead thanks to its "unmatched" entertainment lineup, including Pitbull on April 7, Diana Ross on May 5, The Killers on May 11, Kevin Hart on June 10, and Weezer on July 9.

Hard Rock's state-leading slot machine play totaled $258.9 million in February, with a state-best win of $25.6 million, compared to February 2022 slot win of $22.1 million on $223.5 million in play.

The Gary casino also led the state for February table game play, primarily baccarat, with $47.3 million, and was tops in table win at $8.9 million.

To put that in perspective, more money was wagered at Hard Rock table games in February than the tables at Indiana's five Ohio River casinos and the French Lick Casino combined ($45.7 million), records show.

According to the IGC, the state's former earnings leader, Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, last month ranked third in the state behind its Horseshoe Indianapolis sister property with $27.9 million in win — down 2.8% from its February 2022 win of $28.7 million.

Monthly win at Ameristar Casino in East Chicago fell 8.9% to $16.5 million for February compared with $18.1 million for the same month in the prior year.

Meanwhile, last month's win at Blue Chip Casino, in Michigan City, totaled $11.1 million versus $10.7 million last February, an increase of 4.3%, according to the IGC.

The Super Bowl seems not to have inspired Hoosiers to up their sports wagering in February. The statewide online and retail handle was $356.2 million last month, compared with 409.1 million in February 2022 and the all-time record of $500.1 million in January 2022.

PlayIndiana analyst Jake Garza is optimistic the state's sports wagering handle will increase this month as the annual NCAA basketball tournaments get underway.

"It's basketball's time to shine now that football is out of the way, and Hoosiers are primed and ready to bet on Indiana University and Purdue during March Madness this year," Garza said.

In total, Indiana in February collected $61.8 million in tax revenue from slot machine and table game play, and $2.6 million from settled sports wagers, according to the IGC.