Hard Rock is Indiana's top earning casino for sixth consecutive month

Shelby News
Hard Rock is Indiana's top earning casino for sixth consecutive month

The party never stops at the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana.

Data released Monday by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) show Hard Rock in March was the highest earning casino in the Hoosier State for a sixth consecutive month — once again surpassing the former earnings leader, Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, for "win," or revenue after paying successful bettors.

Hard Rock's win from slot machines and table games totaled $38.5 million for the month, a 22% increase compared to its February win, and 12% more than Horseshoe's March win of $34.4 million, according to the IGC.

Joe Branchik, vice president of marketing at Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, which opened to the public May 14, 2021, as a replacement for Gary's former Majestic Star casinos, said: "We are excited to lead the state in gross gaming revenue."

"We feel this success is centered around the creation of a true entertainment destination with quality gaming, entertainment and dining for our guests," Branchik said.

Branchik also said the casino is on the verge of announcing more summer shows at its Hard Rock Live performance venue and its 1,400 team members are looking forward to joining guests to celebrate the casino's one-year anniversary next month.

According to the IGC, Hard Rock attracted an incredible $57.1 million in table game wagers in March compared to $34.3 million at Horseshoe.

Baccarat was the biggest table game at both the Gary and Hammond casinos. But Hard Rock ($31.3 million) nearly tripled Horseshoe ($11.7 million) in baccarat play, and led in baccarat win with $6.7 million for Hard Rock and $2.5 million for Horseshoe.

Hard Rock also led the state in slot machine play for the third time since opening. Its $268.6 million in slot machine coin-in edged Horseshoe, which posted $257 million in slot play last month.

On a per machine basis, Hard Rock outpaced Horseshoe by tallying $16,259 in monthly win from each slot machine compared to $13,865 each at Horseshoe, records show.

According to the IGC, Ameristar Casino in East Chicago saw slot machine and table game win of $20 million in March, up 10.3% compared to February, while March's win of $12.8 million at Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City also was up 20% on a monthly basis.

Statewide casino win for March totaled $235.2 million, a 16.8% increase compared to the $201.3 million in statewide win recorded in February, and up 12.5% compared to March 2021, according to the IGC.

At the same time, enthusiasm for betting on sports perked up in March with Hoosiers risking $476.8 million on sporting events, data show.

While that's 4.7% less than the the state's record sports wagering handle of $500.1 million set in January, it's a 16.5% boost compared to February's $409.1 million.

"Because of the NCAA Tournament, March is easily the busiest non-football month on the calendar for sports books," said Jake Garza, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com.

"If anything, though, Indiana’s sportsbooks beat expectations. Purdue, Notre Dame, and Indiana all played multiple NCAA Tournament games. Events that drive that kind of statewide enthusiasm are enormously beneficial for sportsbooks, especially as Indiana’s industry grows increasingly local."

As usual, Ameristar Casino led the state for sports wagering handle in March with $145.9 million, primarily through its DraftKings mobile sports wagering affiliate.

Though Blue Chip nearly knocked off the champ by taking in $143.8 million in sports bets last month thanks in part to its affiliation with FanDuel.

Records show Indiana in February collected $73.6 million in tax revenue from slot machine and table game play, and another $3.1 million from settled sports wagers.