Hard Rock remains Indiana's top earning casino

Hard Rock remains Indiana's top earning casino

Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana is less than three weeks away from completing a full year as the Hoosier State's top-earning gaming destination.

And it certainly looks like the 16-month-old casino, located adjacent to Interstate 80/94 at Burr Street in Gary, is going to make it.

Data released Monday by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) show Hard Rock in August once again tallied more "win," or revenue after paying successful bettors, than any of the 11 other commercial casinos located throughout Indiana.

Altogether, Hard Rock recorded $32.7 million in win last month, a 7.6% increase compared to August 2021, while its biggest competitor, Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, last month tallied $29.3 million in win, down 11.8% from August 2021 win of $33.3 million, according to the IGC.

Matt Schuffert, president of Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, suggested its August win could have been even higher absent better than expected player performance.

"From a volume perspective, slots and tables grew about 15% year-over-year, but we had many, many gamblers who left Hard Rock very happy in August," Schuffert said.

Indeed, Hard Rock's table games win, primarily from baccarat, totaled $8.5 million in August on $48.3 million in wagers, compared to July table win of $11.9 million on $51.4 million in bets — meaning players went home with more money in August than they did in July.

Hard Rock also led the state in August slot play with $248.2 million. But its comparatively looser slots only generated win of just $24.3 million for the month versus Horseshoe Indianapolis' win of $24.6 million on slot play of $228.9 million.

Similar to Horseshoe Hammond, year-over-year win was down in August at the two other casinos in Northwest Indiana: Ameristar Casino in East Chicago; and Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City.

At Ameristar, win plummeted 22.1% to $16.7 million for August compared to $21.5 million for the same month last year.

Meanwhile, last month's win at Blue Chip totaled $11.3 million versus $12.1 million last August, a reduction of 6.8%, according to the IGC.

Statewide, casino win for August was $205.8 million compared to $209.3 million in August 2021, a 1.6% decline, IGC data show.

At the same time, enthusiasm for sports wagering grew a bit in August with Hoosiers risking $238 million on sporting events, compared to $206.6 million in July.

Last week's start of the NFL football season and the statewide launch of the mobile Hard Rock Sportsbook also are likely to help propel Indiana's sports wagering handle in coming months closer to the record $500.1 million bet in January.

In total, Indiana in August collected $35.3 million in tax revenue from slot machine and table game play, and another $2.4 million from settled sports wagers, according to the IGC.