SEI Riverboat Revenues Declined 26% In 2013
By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – With casino gaming coming online in Cincinnati, southeast Indiana riverboat casino revenues suffered in 2013.
The Indiana Gaming Commission released its December 2013 revenue report for the state’s casinos on Friday. Compiling the year’s monthly reports, the three riverboats in Lawrenceburg, Rising Sun, and Switzerland County saw combined revenues of $462.2 million.
While still a pretty penny, the figure represents a more than 26 percent decrease from 2012’s combined revenue of $632 million. Attendance for the year at the three riverboats declined by 26.5 percent to a combined 2.1 million visitors, down from 2.86 million in 2012.
Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg saw the largest revenue decline, falling 32 percent to $269.3 million for the year. Attendance at the region’s largest riverboat experienced a similar decline of more than 33 percent to just over one million people.
Belterra Casino Resort in Switzerland County had managed to increase its revenue in 2012. But, the riverboat witnessed a 14 percent decrease in revenue in 2013 to $127.9 million. Belterra’s fall was shorter in terms of attendance, down 16 percent to 664,727 during the year.
At Rising Star Casino Resort in Rising Sun, revenues were off by 26 percent to $65 million. Attendance declined 23 percent to almost 440,000 visitors.
The Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati opened on March 4, 2013, likely the largest reason for the local riverboats’ revenue dip in 2013. Each of the three Indiana properties are investing in new amenities to make themselves more competitive.
Rising Star Casino opened a new 104-room hotel in December. The $8.2 million facility is leased by the casino, owned and built by Rising Sun Regional Foundation and Rising Sun Ohio County First.
In the second quarter of 2014, Hollywood Casino will open a new 168-room hotel and event center capable of holding concerts and conventions. The $49 million facility is located on the Ohio River levee in downtown Lawrenceburg, within walking distance of the casino.
Belterra Casino bean making $11 million in improvements last year. Those items include a sports bar and restaurant, an overhaul of the buffet, and renovations to hotel rooms, the lobby, and casino floor. The casino’s parent company, Pinnacle Entertainment, plans to open the renovated Belterra Park – formerly River Downs – horse racing track in eastern Hamilton County on May 1. The $200 million renovation will include 1,600 video slot machines, restaurants, and horse racing.
Statewide, Indiana’s 13 casinos saw their combined revenue drop 11 percent to $2.3 billion, down from about $2.6 billion in 2012. About 13 percent fewer people went to gamble: 10 million in 2013 compared to 11.6 million in 2012.