Hard Rock remains Indiana's most popular casino in July

The Times Of Northwest Indiana
Hard Rock remains Indiana's most popular casino in July
Wild Casino

Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana has maintained its position as the state’s top earning casino for nearly two full years.

Data released Friday by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) show Hard Rock in July 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 22nd consecutive month.

Hard Rock tallied $36.9 million in win last month — a 0.3% increase compared to its July 2022 win of $36.8 million, according to the IGC.

The Gary entertainment destination also accounted for more than 17% of the state’s $212.7 million in total casino win for the seventh month of 2023.

Matt Schuffert, president of Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, credited the popularity of new and additional slot machines, along with a strong entertainment lineup, for Hard Rock’s continued growth in a regional gaming market that he said “continues to aggressively slide.”

“We look forward to closing out a very exciting summer over the next 6 weeks,” Schuffert said. “With the start of the football season on the near horizon, we are looking forward to hosting the ESPN Chicago Football Fest on August 27th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring Big Cat, Adam Schefter and more of your favorite ESPN Chicago personalities.”

Records show Hard Rock’s state-leading slot machine play totaled $263.6 million in July, with a state-best win of $26 million; compared to July 2022 slot win of $24.9 million on $251.6 million in play.

In addition, the Gary casino led the state for July table game play, primarily baccarat, with $51.7 million, and was tops in table win at $10.9 million.

To put that in perspective, more money was wagered at Hard Rock table games in July than the tables at the three other Northwest Indiana casinos combined ($48.5 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 $26.4 million in win — down 8.4% from its July 2022 win of $28.8 million.

Monthly win at Ameristar Casino in East Chicago fell 7.3% to $16.4 million in July compared with $17.6 million for the same month in the prior year.

Last month’s win at Blue Chip Casino, in Michigan City, totaled $12 million versus $11.9 million last July, an increase of 1.2%, according to the IGC.

The popularity of sports wagering on Hoosiers’ mobile devices and at sports books inside the state’s casinos largely remained steady in July, even though more of Indiana’s neighboring states are getting into the game.

The statewide online and retail sports wagering handle was $203.8 million last month, compared with $206.6 million in July 2022. The all-time monthly record is $500.1 million from January 2022.

PlayIndiana analyst Danny Cross said Indiana’s sports wagering total for July was right in line with expectations during one of the slowest sports betting months on the calendar.

“Indiana is likely to see continued declines this year due to new competition from Ohio and, soon, Kentucky. Still, the NFL season is just weeks away, and bettors will return to Indiana sports books in droves once the Indianapolis Colts kick off — even as soon as preseason games in August,” Cross said.

In total, Indiana in July collected $29.4 million in tax revenue from slot machine and table game play, and $2.2 million from settled sports wagers, according to the IGC.