Betting slowdown at casinos throughout America

Jun 30, 2008 9:03 PM

by Ray Poirier | Bad weather and a slowing economy have taken their toll on casinos throughout America, including the 11 riverboats operating in Indiana.

According to the Indiana Gaming Commission, gaming revenues during the first five months of this year have fallen by about $54 million or 5% less than what was reported during the same period in the previous year.

"Its a case of a weakening economy, soaring gasoline prices and job layoffs at some of the local businesses," said one official.

Listed as among the more heavily affected was the Caesars Indiana riverboat that sits some 25 miles away on the other side of the Ohio River from Churchill Downs racetrack in Kentucky.

Since the beginning of the year, the property has shown a decline in gross revenue of $12.6 million and a drop off in admissions of more than 200,000 patrons. In addition to the problems other riverboats have been feeling, Caesars Indiana was shut down for four days in March because of high water and the owners have been conducting renovations that have kept a number of slot machines out of action.

The renovations involved rebranding the property from Caesars to Horseshoe Casino and Hotel.

One local writer said the declines run counter to the belief that casinos are immune from economic cycles.

"Were finding out that isnt the case," he remarked.