Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Riverboat casinos pull in $497 million


11 million visits at three Indiana boats last year

By Cliff Peale
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Southeastern Indiana's three casinos had more than 11 million visits and piled up nearly half a billion dollars in revenue last year.

        Argosy Casino in Lawrenceburg, Grand Victoria Casino in Rising Sun and the new Belterra Casino in Switzerland County posted gross gaming revenue of $497.7 million, the Indiana Gaming Commission reported Monday.

BIGGEST ATTRACTIONS
  The three casinos in Indiana are by far the most popular tourist destinations in the Tristate with 11 million visitors in 2000. That's more than Cincinnati's six biggest attractions, which drew a total of roughly 9.8 million in 2000.
  • Kings Island — 3.2 million
  • Reds — 2,577,351 (2000 attendance was the team's second best).
  • Cincinnati Zoo — 1.3 million
  • Newport Aquarium — 1.25 million (in inaugural year)
  • Cincinnati Museum Center — 1.1 million
  • Bengals — 469,992 (tickets distributed)
        Gross gaming revenue is the casino's take after gam blers' winnings, taxes, salaries and other expenses.

        The numbers are further confirmation of the importance of the casinos to Greater Cincinnati's tourism economy. For example, Paramount's Kings Island, long one of the region's biggest attractions, had about 3.2 million visitors last year.

        During the year, Argosy was the most popular of the 10 casinos in Indiana, with 7.5 million visits., Grand Victoria had 3.1 million, and Belterra, 354,939. Belterra officially opened Oct. 27.

        Argosy's total admissions were up 2.7 percent from 1999, while Grand Victoria's admissions were down 3.1 percent.

        Argosy paid admission and wagering taxes of $91.5 million in 2000, up 9.4 percent from $83.6 million in 1999. Grand Victoria's admission and wagering taxes totaled $39.8 million, up 2.8 percent from $38.7 million in 1999.

        Belterra paid $4 million in wagering and admission taxes in its limited 2000 run, the gaming commission said. Overall, the state took in $453 million in wagering and admissions taxes from the 10 Indiana casinos.

       



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