Casinos in Indiana were shut down for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Back in March, casinos along with other non-essential businesses across the US, started to close in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. After reopening with coronavirus restrictions in place, gaming venues in the Hoosier State are seeing a nice return. Sports betting and casino gaming are up, helping the state to recover from losses incurred during the closure.
Making a Comeback
The casinos in Indiana reopened on June 15. Since that time, patrons have visited the gaming venues and are subject to temperature checks and other screening procedures. They must wear a mask and venues have a capacity limit that cannot be breached. For gaming, table games can have three to four players per table. Slots are every other machine, with games turned off to promote social distancing.
Despite the restrictions, players are visiting the venues. In July, the state saw revenues of just over $175 million when it comes to casino gaming. This is just over $10 million less than July of last year. While that is a large difference, it is still a good number considering the current state of affairs.
The top earner for the state was the Horseshoe, who received $30.5 million in revenues for July. They topped the list of 13 casinos in Indiana and managed to earn just $2 million less than the same month last year.
For the Horseshoe, they made additional changes to keep gaming flowing well. They used a closed poker room to house more slot games and made sure the most popular titles are available. They are also seeing more players than normal due to sports being shut down as well as other activities. People are traveling to the casinos just to have something to do.
The Ameristar Casino was one casino in the state that actually saw an increase in earnings when compared to last year. The casino generated $20.8 million in July. This was over $4 million from July 2019.
Other casinos, like the Majestic Star and Blue Chip were down, but still earned well based on the current circumstances. The Majestic Star casinos earned $11.4 million while the Blue Chip Casino brought in $9.2 million.
Sports Betting Boom
For sports betting, the state is doing quite well. In July, over $70 million was wagered in the sector. This puts the total sports betting handle for the state at more than $1 billion in a 10 month time frame. If the casinos and sports had not shut down, the state would have a much higher total.
According to information from the Indiana Gaming Commission, just over 83% of the sports wagers placed in July were done at the casinos in the northwest portion of the state or via mobile sports apps associated with casinos in that area.
We shall see in the coming weeks if July was just a bounce back for casinos or if casinos will continue to see large numbers in wagers and revenues as players come back to the land-based venues.