Indiana emerged as America's third largest gaming destination in 2009.
Mississippi slipped to fourth place while Nevada and New Jersey remained in the
top two spots. The numbers exclude charitable gambling and Native American
In 2009 Indiana's 13 casinos reported a total of $2.58 billion in gaming
revenues compared to $2.46 billion at Mississippi's 3 casinos. Nevada and New
Jersey held the top spots with $9.76 billion and $3.9 billion respectively.
Indiana opened two new casinos in 2008, and Penn National Gaming replaced the
Argosy Casino in 2009 with a new $335 million Hollywood Casino.
Hammond's Horseshoe Casino had a great year in 2009 breaking a state record with
$527 million in revenues.
There are several factors that improved Indiana casino revenues last year.
The state has a large population to draw from with cities like Chicago and
Indianapolis within driving distance of its casinos. Many visitors are staying
closer to home during the current economy rather than going to Las Vegas or
Atlantic City. The smoking ban in Illinois may have also been a factor for
visiting Indiana casinos.
Mississippi has built much of its marketing on being the third largest gaming
destination in the country.
"The main thing was being the third largest destination gave us a great
marketing tool - bragging rights, if you will," said Beverly Martin, executive
director of the Mississippi Casino Operators Association.
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