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4/11/2012 12:05:00 PM
Casino Aztar sees dip in patrons; gaming revenue mixed for March 2012

Susan Orr, Evansville Courier & Press

—Casino Aztar posted mixed financial results last month — its revenue from table games was up, but its electronic gaming revenue and visitor count both dropped.

The financial details come from the Indiana Gaming Commission’s monthly revenue report, which was released Tuesday. The report details how many people visited each of Indiana’s casinos in March, how much they wagered and how much each facility earned in revenue and paid in taxes.

Patrons at the Evansville casino wagered $6.3 million on table games in March, up 5.3 percent compared to the same period a year ago. The casino’s revenue from table games was $1.6 million, up 12.5 percent from last year.

Patrons also wagered $92.3 million on electronic gaming, down 2.2 percent from the previous year. Aztar’s revenue from electronic gaming was $9.2 million, down 2.0 percent.

The amount that a casino keeps in revenue represents only a fraction of the amount that patrons wager, because much of the wagered amount is paid back out in winnings.

Aztar had 41 table games and 908 electronic gaming machines in operation last month. That compares to 44 table games and 894 electronic gaming machines in March 2011.

Aztar paid $3.6 million in admission and wagering taxes last month.

Aztar saw 104,300 visitors last month, down 5.0 percent from the previous March. That drop was in line with average statewide attendance figures. Some Hoosier casinos saw increases and some saw decreases, but the total admissions for all casinos combined dropped 5.0 percent, to 2.2 million.

Ward Shaw, Casino Aztar’s general manager, speculated that the Evansville casino’s year-over-year attendance drop may be related to last year’s flooding.

Harrah’s Metropolis casino in Metropolis, Ill., is a competitor of Aztar’s, Shaw said, and Aztar benefited last year when flooding forced the Metropolis casino to close for part of March 2011. Aztar remained open during that time.

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Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR

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