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December gaming revenues continue slump

Jan 9, 2009 7:33 PM
Staff & Wire Reports | Early returns indicate December gaming revenues took another hit in regional markets around the country.

The largest drop-off reported so far was in Illinois, where December gaming revenue decreased 28.2 percent from last year. Hardest hit was slot machine revenue, which plummeted 28 percent, while table games saw a 7.1 percent slide.

In addition to the effects of the recession, a smoking ban implemented in Illinois last year is believed to have adversely affected casino gaming.

In Indiana, casino revenue in December was up 3.5 percent, but if you subtract the results from two new properties that opened in June, actual year-over-year revenue was down 10.1 percent.

In Florida, the state’s racinos reported December revenues of $16.1 million, down 20.8 percent from December 2007.

The decline in Florida is attributed to increased competition from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, which has added Class III slots and table games. The Seminole casino isn’t required to report its financial results.

In West Virginia, slot revenue for the four weeks ended Dec. 27 fell 12 percent compared to the four weeks ended Dec. 29, 2007. A smoking ban in Kanawha County impacted Tri-State, which suffered a 20.7 percent decline in revenues.

Slot revenues fell 12.8 percent at Mountaineer Casino and 13.8 percent at Wheeling Downs. Charles Town suffered the least with revenues down only 9.9 percent.

For an expanded report and analysis of casino gaming across the U.S., check out next week’s GamingToday beginning Tuesday.