Hard Rock might have lost out on being the finalist for the downtown casino in Chicago, but it can take plenty of solace in quickly establishing itself as the top revenue generator across the state line in Indiana.
The Seminole tribe-based gaming group, which recently celebrated the first anniversary of opening its $300 million casino in Gary, generated $372 million in gaming revenue in its first 12 months of operation, which resulted in more than $98 million in tax revenue for the state when combining wagering and supplemental taxes. The Indiana Gaming Commission reported Hard Rock generated a state-best $38.2 million in win for April as the 10 casinos and two racinos across the Hoosier State generated $229.1 million overall.
That was slightly off March’s $235.2 million, which was the highest monthly total recorded by the IGC in nine years. Taxable revenue from the venues totaled nearly $215.3 million, a month-over-month decline of 2.4%. Operators reported more than $7.6 million worth of free play, but that was also $2 million less than March and the lowest total of the year thus far.
Wagering taxes totaled close to $66.8 million, and an additional $4.7 million was levied in supplemental taxes. Those totals do not include the $2.7 million generated from sports wagering in Indiana, as operators claimed nearly $28.7 million in revenue in that category. Indiana casinos have generated $257.6 million in casino wagering and supplemental taxes this year, $42.6 million more than the first four months of 2021.
Throwing down the gauntlet at Chicago
Though a downtown Chicago casino is currently years away at the earliest, Hard Rock has served notice to the city and the state of Illinois it will be in a fierce fight to repatriate at least $190 million of the $331 million in annual casino gaming revenue it estimates goes to Indiana. Hard Rock has quickly added to a strong gaming bulwark in Northwest Indiana with Ameristar Casino and Horseshoe Hammond, but where it has separated itself — even from its geographical neighbors — is through baccarat.
Hard Rock generated $293.7 million in drop for baccarat in its first year of operation, which included a monthly high of $31.3 million in March played at 25 tables. To put the separation in some perspective, though April’s drop slipped to just shy of $29 million, it was still 41.6% higher than the $20.5 million played at Ameristar and Horseshoe combined.
Hard Rock averaged more than $4.6 million in monthly win at its baccarat tables, and the nearly $55.7 million in overall win accounted for more than half its overall $110.6 million table games revenue in the first year of operation. Hard Rock’s overall split of table games-to-slots revenue fell just shy of 30-70 for the 12 months of reporting, and its $12.7 million in total table games revenue for April represented nearly one-third of its monthly revenue and 29.5% of the state’s overall $43 million in table games win.
Hard Rock averaged $21.8 million monthly in slot win as the amount of EGD (electronic gaming devices) units varied from 1,292 to 1,647 over the course of its first year. It reported 1,612 units in operation for April, and its $15,829 average per position ranked fourth among all venues while also landing 25.9% above the statewide average of $12,581 from 14,789 positions being utilized.
Elsewhere around the state
Three other venues — Horseshoe Hammond, Indiana Grand, and Caesars Southern Indiana — also surpassed $5 million in table games win, while Bally’s in Evansville was a distant second in average table games win at $72,296 as its 30 tables generated nearly $2.2 million in win. Caesars and Horseshoe were the only other locations to generate at least 20% of their total win from table games.
Indiana Grand pulled off the EGD double of most revenue at $26.4 million and highest average per position at $17,100. Hard Rock, Horseshoe Hammond, and Harrah’s Hoosier Park joined the racino among those with more than $20 million in slots win as the $186.1 million in statewide slot win represented 81.2% of the overall casino gaming revenue for April.