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CINCINNATI - Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati in June generated its lowest monthly revenue total since its March 4 opening. Its $17.6 million in adjusted gross revenue was down 10 percent from May.
Statewide gambling revenues were down 4 percent in June to $68.6 million.
The downtown Cincinnati casino finished ahead of rivals in Columbus and Toledo, but behind its sister property in Cleveland. Horseshoe Cleveland generated $19.3 million, down 4 percent from May. If the Cincinnati property is worried about a June swoon, it didn't show in a statement released Monday.
"Horseshoe Cincinnati continues to gain traction as evidenced by the increased growth in admissions and volumes," said Senior Vice President and General Manager Kevin Kline. "As we continue to ramp up the business in a highly competitive market, we have been successful in building our Total Rewards customer database, and introducing regional gamers to our new property."
In an interview with WCPO Digital, Kline said Horseshoe attendance was up 3 percent in June to 429,171, which puts the facility on pace with its first-year projections of 5 to 6 million in attendance. Members in the property's Total Rewards database grew more than 20 percent in June. Kline wouldn't say how that total number of Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati members it has in that database.
The casino held a major promotion in June, when it gave away 30 trips to Las Vegas every day during the month. In order to win, participants had to register in person and be a Total Rewards member.
Kline said the property is attracting new customers from Indianapolis, Lexington and other regional markets. He is still convinced it can meet its original goal of generating $300 million in annual gaming revenue within a few years. After four months, the property is on pace for $228 million in first-year revenue.
"We are absolutely growing the market," Kline said. "We are not changing our projections. These businesses, it could take a couple of years to get to a stabilized point … We feel like we're on a good trajectory."
As WCPO Digital reported in June, the Horseshoe Cincinnati has pulled into a tight race for market share with the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg.
Indiana's casino numbers will be published Wednesday.
Gaming industry analyst Andrew Klebanow said Ohio's new casinos are seeing some competitive pushback from properties in surrounding states.
"The southern Indiana riverboats are not ready to give up market share," said Klebanow, a principal at Gaming Market Advisors in Las Vegas. "People are finding out, you know what? Getting to downtown from my house is not quite as convenient as driving to Indiana."
Klebanow adds that all U.S. casinos are experiencing a slower-than-expected recovery from the recession. So, the Buckeye State will not achieve the $1.4 billion in casino revenue that gaming consultants forecast for the state in 2011.
"People are not flocking back to casinos like they did in years past," he said. "Is Ohio going to be a disappointment? No, it's going to be fine but it's not going to be as rich a market as we anticipated five years ago."
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