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> Blue Chip revenues stagnant as casinos decline statewide
Tim
post Jan 22 2013, 07:01 AM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/articles/2013/0...98639832813.txt

MICHIGAN CITY — Statewide, casinos had another disappointing year in 2012, with adjusted gross revenues falling short of the previous year’s pull by about 3.5 percent, or a difference of almost $100 million, according to Larry Rhoades, assistant accounting director of the Indiana Gaming Commission.

But Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa, had a relatively flat year; its adjusted gross revenues were up – but only just slightly – by about $250,000, or “a rather negligible amount,” according to Rhoades.

Ted Bogich, vice president and general manager of Blue Chip, was also quick to point out that increased revenues do not necessarily indicate an increased profit for the casino.

“In general, what gets reported by the (Indiana) Gaming Commission, those are revenue numbers – they’re not profit numbers ... that’s just gross gaming,” Bogich said.

*
Bogich added that Boyd Gaming, the public company that owns Blue Chip, does not discuss its finances any more than necessary to protect the viability of its stocks.

However, Bogich acknowledged that new casinos in southern Michigan and the possibility of even more casinos coming into play in Illinois have stiffened the casino’s competition.

Elsewhere throughout the state, Rhoades said other casinos are also feeling the “hurt.” He said 2012 revenues were particularly impacted by new casinos in Ohio, which bit away at the revenues of their competitors in Indiana.

With the possibility of new casinos in Illinois and Michigan, Bogich said Blue Chip is trying to be proactive about the competition.

“We have really transformed Blue Chip to be a regional gaming and entertainment destination, which is different from how our property was positioned before,” Bogich said. “By doing that, we’re really able to expand the reach to places as far away as Chicago, southern Indiana and Michigan, predominantly, but even as far away as Wisconsin. We’re also focusing on improving the quality and quantity of amenities – four bars, live entertainment with a headliner at least once a month. ... That has helped us remain more competitive.”

In 2012, Indiana tax revenue from admission and wagering taxes on the Blue Chip Casino was about $50.5 million.

At a time when Michigan City receives about $10 million annually in taxes from the casino, in this case, what is good for the casino is also good for the city.

However, with the speculation that casino revenues will continue to fall statewide in the future, it is too early to tell whether Blue Chip will remain resistant to the “negative trend.”

Some have reasoned that state legislators could eventually respond to the increased competition from other states by lowering taxes on Indiana casinos.

Bogich said he believes state legislators will continue to monitor casino revenues and act accordingly.

“Certainly any business would like the ability to compete on a fairly level playing field. ... But that’s not necessarily the case,” Bogich said. “In Michigan, you also have Native American-owned casinos. ... We think as the legislation meets this year and the year after, we will see what happens and will try to do what can to make sure we remain competitive.”
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I hate these places. Been to Las Vegas a couple of times. As I'm not a pro-level gambler every person in ANY type of service job - be it waiter or black jack dealer or what ever - looked at me like I had SUCKER written on my forehead. It would be interesting to know how many people in MC have lost their homes to gambling.

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Southsider2k12
post Jan 22 2013, 09:24 AM
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Yeah, the casino was never my thing. Maybe if sports betting were legal in Indiana it might be different, but I never was a slot machine kind of guy.

I like the clubs better than anything else up there.
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diggler
post Jan 24 2013, 06:45 AM
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Indiana’s Gambling Lock Loosened by Competition

By STEVEN YACCINO

January 23, 2013

HAMMOND, Ind. — There is Las Vegas. There is Atlantic City. But when it comes to listing popular American gambling locations, another powerhouse often gets overlooked: Indiana.

The Hoosier State, better known for cornstalks than jackpots, has for years been considered one of the largest gambling states when it comes to casino revenue. Here in the northwest, less than an hour’s drive from Chicago, where five floating casinos crowd the Lake Michigan shoreline, the industry has been thriving in what the American Gaming Association currently ranks the third largest commercial gambling market in the United States.

Since the mid-1990s, Indiana casinos have filled state coffers with more than $10 billion in taxes and have drawn millions of visitors across state borders to try their luck at Indiana slot machines.

But Indiana’s luck may soon be running out. Citing a shaky economy and the growing threats of casino expansion in the neighboring states of Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio, a state report predicted 2012 “will be remembered as the relative calm before Indiana braces for the looming storm of interstate competition for gaming revenues.” The state’s incoming tax revenue from riverboat gambling alone is expected to dip by $73.6 million by 2015, a decrease of about 15 percent.

Admissions numbers in Indiana dropped after an Illinois casino opened in 2011. Even more competition could follow in Chicago as a debate continues over whether to allow casinos in the city and its south suburbs.

The same could happen if Kentucky approves casino gambling in the coming years. Last February, a ballot measure was proposed on the issue, but it died in the State Senate. Gov. Steven L. Beshear, a Democrat, has said he may try again.

But Hoosiers seem most frightened of what is happening in Ohio, which opened its first three casinos in 2012. The new competition has already been blamed for layoffs at Indiana casinos along the border. A fourth Ohio casino, the closest to Indiana, is opening in Cincinnati in March. A similar story has been playing out across the country: more states are pursuing casinos as an untapped revenue stream, diluting a market that early adopting states, like Indiana, once dominated freely and relied on financially.

“We have the rhinoceros by the tail,” said Scott Pelath, the Democratic minority leader in the Indiana House of Representatives. “Continuing to hold on is a necessity.”

Gambling contributes about 5 percent of total revenue to the state’s general fund, the third biggest revenue source after income and sales taxes. “Those are not dollars we can do without,” Mr. Pelath said.

Indiana has outgambled its neighbors in this swath of the Midwest since its first casino opened in 1995. In those early years, riverboat casinos were forced to leave the shore while gambling took place. That requirement faded, along with the charade that permanently docked casinos had to look like boats at all — though they are still required to be on water.

The sites now range from rundown riverboats to newly renovated venues like the Horseshoe in Hammond, which spent $500 million on upgrades in 2008 in anticipation of new competition from Illinois. Displaying crystal chandeliers and floating on a barge, it now hosts Word Series of Poker circuit events and has 24-hour shuttles to Chicago.

“We focus on controlling those things we can control,” said Dan Nita, the general manager at Horseshoe. “We wanted to raise the cost of entry to our competition, so new owners and operators would have to think twice before investing.”

The Horseshoe’s owner, Caesars Entertainment, considers Hammond its second highest grossing location, next to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Industry officials attribute the success of Indiana’s 13 casinos, at least until now, to their ability to attract out-of-state visitors, which make up more than 50 percent of all admissions.

“It’s become such a part of the fabric of this state,” said Ed Feigenbaum, who runs Indiana Game Insight, a newsletter that tracks the state’s casino industry. “But the gravy train, if you’ve noticed, is starting to slow down considerably.”

The grim forecast has renewed a fierce debate among politicians in Indianapolis about how to keep the tax revenue and casino jobs from disappearing, with no easy solution in sight.

“Most observers will say Indiana will never regain the total numbers of dollars it was used to getting,” said Ernest Yelton, executive director of the Indiana Gaming Commission. “I think the goal, more realistically, is to minimize the amount of dollars that is going to be lost."

On Wednesday, state senators gathered at the Capitol for a committee hearing to debate a new bill that some legislators and industry leaders believe would help keep the industry viable in the years ahead. The plan would allow casinos to move inland and reduces taxes owed to the state, a proposed investment that would give the gambling facilities more flexibility and financial incentives to stay competitive, said State Senator Phil Boots, a Republican and sponsor of the bill.

But it is not without controversy. Some Assembly members in the Republican-dominated legislature are unlikely to support any form of gambling expansion in Indiana. Other critics point to an impact study released by a state agency this week estimating that Indiana could lose up to $230 million in tax revenue as a result of the proposed policies over the next two years, far exceeding the predicted losses if things stayed the same.

Still, the bill passed out of the Senate’s public policy committee with unanimous support on Wednesday. It must be approved by an appropriations committee, where it is expected to meet some opposition in its current form, before it can be called for a floor vote.

“We have been a partner in this process,” said Mike Smith, president of the Casino Association of Indiana, who backs the legislation. “We need to give a little to make sure we don’t lose a lot.”
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Tim
post Jan 24 2013, 07:04 AM
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This is what gets me -

Gambling contributes about 5 percent of total revenue to the state’s general fund, the third biggest revenue source after income and sales taxes. “Those are not dollars we can do without,” Mr. Pelath said.

Really? So Indiana can't survive without taking people's money? Because that's exactly what these places do. If you happen to be a pro gambler that's one thing - but the average Joe Lunchpail doesn't stand a change against an industry that has refined the art of taking your cash.
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Ang
post Jan 24 2013, 08:20 AM
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Amen!
I went to Four Winds over the weekend. I had $20 to play penny slots.....it was a short evening.

I don't go to casinos often, like Southsider, I go for the clubs and night life, not the gambling. I suck at it. I think I would get more enjoyment out of throwing my money in the back yard fire pit and watching it burn.

Same difference.


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indianamaniac
post Jan 24 2013, 09:35 AM
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QUOTE(Tim @ Jan 24 2013, 07:04 AM) *

... an industry that has refined the art of taking your cash.


In a capitalistic society, are there any industries still in existence that haven't "refined the art of taking your cash"?

McDonalds, movie theaters, public utilities, retail?
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Southsider2k12
post Jan 24 2013, 09:49 AM
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QUOTE(indianamaniac @ Jan 24 2013, 09:35 AM) *

In a capitalistic society, are there any industries still in existence that haven't "refined the art of taking your cash"?

McDonalds, movie theaters, public utilities, retail?


Newspapers?
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indianamaniac
post Jan 24 2013, 10:33 AM
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QUOTE(Southsider2k12 @ Jan 24 2013, 09:49 AM) *

Newspapers?


Touche...

Okay, still in existence and not a decade or two away from extinction in their traditional form...
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Southsider2k12
post Jan 24 2013, 12:04 PM
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QUOTE(indianamaniac @ Jan 24 2013, 10:33 AM) *

Touche...

Okay, still in existence and not a decade or two away from extinction in their traditional form...


I think the distinction falls in the exploitation of an addiction, at least for most.
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indianamaniac
post Jan 24 2013, 02:33 PM
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QUOTE(Southsider2k12 @ Jan 24 2013, 12:04 PM) *

I think the distinction falls in the exploitation of an addiction, at least for most.




Then why don't we go after every bar in town? They have been making bank off of alcohol addictions for YEARS...
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Southsider2k12
post Jan 24 2013, 02:49 PM
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QUOTE(indianamaniac @ Jan 24 2013, 02:33 PM) *

Then why don't we go after every bar in town? They have been making bank off of alcohol addictions for YEARS...


I don't know about you, but plenty of bars in City could kill for the reputation that the Casino has.
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Tim
post Jan 24 2013, 03:59 PM
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QUOTE(indianamaniac @ Jan 24 2013, 09:35 AM) *

In a capitalistic society, are there any industries still in existence that haven't "refined the art of taking your cash"?

McDonalds, movie theaters, public utilities, retail?


Wow - if I spennd 550 yen at McDonald's here I get a Big Mac set in return.

If I blow $500 at the casino playing Black Jack what do I get in return?
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indianamaniac
post Jan 24 2013, 05:37 PM
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QUOTE(Tim @ Jan 24 2013, 03:59 PM) *

Wow - if I spennd 550 yen at McDonald's here I get a Big Mac set in return.

If I blow $500 at the casino playing Black Jack what do I get in return?



If I pay a cover to see one of your concerts, what do I tangibly have to show for it afterward?

If I pay to see a movie, what do I have to show for it?
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Tim
post Jan 24 2013, 07:01 PM
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QUOTE(indianamaniac @ Jan 24 2013, 05:37 PM) *

If I pay a cover to see one of your concerts, what do I tangibly have to show for it afterward?

If I pay to see a movie, what do I have to show for it?


Good point. So, you're saying that someone loses the mortgage payment but they got to play black jack for 10 minute so it all works out?


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indianamaniac
post Jan 24 2013, 07:26 PM
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QUOTE(Tim @ Jan 24 2013, 07:01 PM) *

Good point. So, you're saying that someone loses the mortgage payment but they got to play black jack for 10 minute so it all works out?


It is a form of entertainment. The reason that you are expected to be 21 years of age to participate is because you are an adult and should reasonably be expected to partake within your means.

I can go to a movie and spend 40 dollars, is it the movie theater's fault if that money was supposed to be earmarked to pay the water bill?

You know, I get it why people like to blame the casino for all of society's ills. It's easy to do.
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Tim
post Jan 24 2013, 08:40 PM
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QUOTE(indianamaniac @ Jan 24 2013, 07:26 PM) *

It is a form of entertainment. The reason that you are expected to be 21 years of age to participate is because you are an adult and should reasonably be expected to partake within your means.

I can go to a movie and spend 40 dollars, is it the movie theater's fault if that money was supposed to be earmarked to pay the water bill?

You know, I get it why people like to blame the casino for all of society's ills. It's easy to do.


I get what you're saying. The liquor store analogy works as well. Should we close all liquor stores because some people end up hopeless alcoholics? I have a deep hatred for the gambling biz world from a couple of trips to Vegas. I also get that the casino has done a lot for MC financially. It just seems to me they've done it, in part, by building their business on the backs of people who lost their shirt at the casino.
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indianamaniac
post Jan 24 2013, 09:08 PM
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QUOTE(Tim @ Jan 24 2013, 08:40 PM) *

I get what you're saying. The liquor store analogy works as well. Should we close all liquor stores because some people end up hopeless alcoholics? I have a deep hatred for the gambling biz world from a couple of trips to Vegas. I also get that the casino has done a lot for MC financially. It just seems to me they've done it, in part, by building their business on the backs of people who lost their shirt at the casino.


If you're going to place hatred upon the casino industry for making money off the backs of others then you may as well hate anyone who makes money, including all of Wall Street...
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Tim
post Jan 24 2013, 09:15 PM
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QUOTE(indianamaniac @ Jan 24 2013, 09:08 PM) *

If you're going to place hatred upon the casino industry for making money off the backs of others then you may as well hate anyone who makes money, including all of Wall Street...


Come on - how many people are addicted to the stock market, or buying stocks?
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ChickenCityRoller
post Jan 24 2013, 09:24 PM
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I have no trouble blowing the money I made on my own. I never go to the Casino. I've shouldn't say NEVER as I've been to the Blue Chip maybe ten times since it opened, usually with a group where someone else was driving.
I have never been to the New Buffalo Casino but I hear there are some nice restaurant up there. I won't go just for the restaurants.
The best casino experiences I had was when I was an 18 year old kid, living in Tahoe City, working as a ski bum. We would go to Incline Village, the oldest casino's in the country. Underage, getting sloshed for free while playing 25 cent roulette was a helluva a kick!


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Tim
post Jan 24 2013, 09:32 PM
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"getting sloshed for free "

Okay - I'm down with the getting sloshed part. But when I was in Vegas it was FREE DRINKS WHILE GAMBLING and it would take them so long to bring your drink back you'd lose more money while you were waiting than if you'd have just bought the damned drink. Total racket.
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