Revenue dips for Cincinnati casinos in December, but not for Belterra

Pinnacle Entertainment properites up double digits

CINCINNATI - The Belterra twins made some noise in the Cincinnati casino market last month, with a combined $16.2 million in revenue at the two local gaming properties owned by Pinnacle Entertainment Corp.

That means they came within $150,000 of matching the market leader Jack Cincinnati Casino Downtown.

“Obviously the market trends are positive for us,” said Blair Bendel, vice president of marketing for Las Vegas-based Pinnacle. “I wouldn’t say we look at it as, ‘We’re No. 1 in the market.’ We just continue to focus on how do we have a great guest experience.”

Records from regulators in Ohio and Indiana show the region’s six gaming establishments raked in $61.1 million last month, down 2 percent from a year ago.

Belterra Park in Anderson Township hit a four-month high of $6.6 million, a 10 percent increase over last December. Belterra Resort Casino in Florence, Indiana, soared 17 percent to $9.6 million.

Jack Casino enjoyed its highest revenue in eight months, but its $16.3 million December was still down 8 percent from the same period last year.

"December was a good month for us," said Jack Entertainment spokeswoman Gayle Joseph. "We grew more from a dollar perspective than any of our competitors and continue to be number one in the market."

Jack still has a comfortable 26.7 percent market share, several points ahead of its nearest rivals. Second-ranked Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg declined 5 percent to $13.3 million. Miami Valley Gaming in Monroe was down 4 percent to $11.2 million, holding its third-place status.

The month included two weekend holidays that make it difficult to compare with prior Decembers, but it came at a time of rising consumer confidence that could improve the industry’s prospects. Cleveland-based Freedonia Focus Reports released a study last month that predicts consumer spending on gambling will increase 3.5 percent annually through 2020.

“I can’t speak on why people are gambling,” Bendel said. “I can just tell you that we are seeing positive turns in both of our properties. We continue to focus on what we can do to grow that.”

Bendel said Belterra’s loyalty program allows guests to accrue perks at both of its Cincinnati area properties and redeem them at either place.

“It’s a big advantage to have both properties within a one-hour drive time,” he said.

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