Hard Rock hits two years as Indiana's top-earning casino

The Times Of Northwest Indiana
Hard Rock hits two years as Indiana's top-earning casino

GARY — Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana has at least one thing in common with Taylor Swift.

They're both always at the top of the charts.

Data released Monday by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) show Hard Rock in October once again tallied more "win," or revenue after paying successful bettors, than any of the 11 other commercial casinos in the Hoosier State for a 24th consecutive month.

Hard Rock's two years at the top isn't the longest streak in Indiana gaming history. But it's notable because Hard Rock wrested the title from the former earnings leader, Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, barely five months after opening May 14, 2021, and the Gary gaming, dining and entertainment destination has held on to it ever since.

Matt Schuffert, president of Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, applauded its nearly 1,500 employees — almost all of whom hail from Gary or Lake County — for helping Hard Rock make it two years as the statewide leader in gaming revenue.

"That is a testament to the team we have at Hard Rock Northern Indiana. They work so hard each and every day taking great care of our guests, all the credit goes to them. I couldn’t be prouder of this team," Schuffert said.

Hard Rock tallied $32.9 million in win last month — a 9.2% decrease compared to its October 2022 win of $36.3 million, despite seeing nearly the same amount of table game play and more slot action last month, according to the IGC.

Schuffert characterized the outcome as "another strong month." He also congratulated the numerous Hard Rock guests who went home with extra money in their pockets after visiting the casino.

"Despite the revenue decline to last October, it was another month to celebrate many, many winners, while volumes continue to grow on the slot side of the business," Schuffert said.

According to the IGC, Hard Rock accounted for 17.6% of the state’s $187.6 million in total casino win for the tenth month of 2023 — Indiana’s sixth sub-$200 million month of the year.

Hard Rock’s state-leading slot machine play totaled $257.8 million in October, with a state-best win of $25 million; compared to October 2022 slot win of $24.7 million on $249.5 million in play.

The Gary casino also led the state for October table game play, primarily baccarat, with $46.4 million, and was tops in table win at $7.9 million.

To put that in perspective, more money once again was wagered at Hard Rock table games in October than the tables at the three other Northwest Indiana casinos combined ($45.1 million), records show.

According to the IGC, win at the Hammond Horseshoe last month ranked third in the state behind its Horseshoe Indianapolis sister property at $23.4 million — down 19.6% from its October 2022 win of $29.1 million.

Monthly win at Ameristar Casino in East Chicago fell 4.1% to $15.3 million in October compared with $15.9 million for the same month in the prior year.

Last month’s win at Blue Chip Casino, in Michigan City, totaled $10 million versus $11.1 million last October, a decrease of 10.1%, according to the IGC.

The popularity of sports wagering on Hoosiers’ mobile devices and at sports books inside the state’s casinos largely remained relatively steady in October, even as more of Indiana’s neighboring states get into the game.

The statewide online and retail sports wagering handle was $429.7 million last month, compared with $446.2 million in October 2022. The all-time monthly record is $500.1 million from January 2022.

In total, Indiana in October collected $42.5 million in tax revenue from slot machine and table game play, and $4.3 million from settled sports wagers, according to the IGC.