Thursday, April 7, 2011

"WHAT THIS CITY NEEDS IS A GOOD 5 CENT SLOT MACHINE"

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Amount raked in just by slot machines last year alone at state-approved casinos in Indiana: $2.4 billion.
Net income from the state-run Hoosier Lottery since its inception in 1989: $3.8 billion.


Gaming events” generate more than $500 million a year for Indiana non-profits, and an Indiana House Committee wants to explore how to modify rules put in place a few years ago “to curb the illegal gambling schemes that have been operating under the guise of charities”:

“When you attract the kind of money that charity gaming does, you may not always attract people who have the best interests of charity at heart,” said Rep. Bill Davis, a Republican from Portland who chairs the House Committee on Public Policy.

Gambling attracts unsavory characters? Who knew?

Amount raked in just by slot machines last year alone at state-approved casinos in Indiana: $2.4 billion.
Net income from the state-run Hoosier Lottery since its inception in 1989: $3.8 billion.


Gaming events” generate more than $500 million a year for Indiana non-profits, and an Indiana House Committee wants to explore how to modify rules put in place a few years ago “to curb the illegal gambling schemes that have been operating under the guise of charities”:

“When you attract the kind of money that charity gaming does, you may not always attract people who have the best interests of charity at heart,” said Rep. Bill Davis, a Republican from Portland who chairs the House Committee on Public Policy.

Gambling attracts unsavory characters? Who knew?
SAY THAT AGAIN?
Gambling attracts unsavory characters? Who knew?
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WTF?
REBUTTAL- HEY JACK WAGON...
I think theres an entire city, ENTIRE INDUSTRY and legitimate, tax-paying, jobs creating service industry, ( and manufacturing- slot machines/tv screens just dont conjurE out of thin air, stupid..)


BLUE CHIP CASINO LOGO

BLUE CHIP CASINO HOTEL

BLUE CHIP CASINO AT NIGHT

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BLUE CHIP CASINO INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX- AS BIG AS NAVISTAR/HARVESTER

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"THE LARGEST FLOATING CASINO IN THE UNITED STATES"
HMM- I THINK I JUST SOLVED THE BUDGET CRISIS- SWORDS TO PLOWSHARES.
CONVERT THE US NAVY AIRCRAFT CARRIER FLEET TO LUXURY GLOBAL FLOATING CASINOS.
"tHE US NAVY- A FORCE FOR GOOD"

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CAN YOUR CASINO BOAT DO THIS?

http://www.mcaorals.co.uk/Photos/Merchant%20navy%20images/Aircraft-carrier.jpg


quote by
-VICE PRESIDENT THOMAS RILEY MARSHALL(sort of)of Indiana under Woodrow Wilson

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marker side 1

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LADY LUCK CLUB- 2 SIDED COIN
SIDE 1
CASINO ECONOMICS 101

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PROFESSORIAL STUDY OF CASINO BUSINESS- ARTICLE 1
http://www.ibrc.indiana.edu/ibr/2009/spring/article1.html
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The Two-Sided Coin: Casino Gaming and Casino Tax Revenue in Indiana
Jim Landers, Ph.D.
Senior Fiscal/Program Analyst, Office of Fiscal and Management Analysis, Indiana Legislative Services Agency

Legal gambling in Indiana comprises various forms and venues ranging from large-scale commercial casinos with Vegas-like slot machines and table games to small stakes gaming on bingo, raffles, and pull-tab ticket games conducted by nonprofit organizations.

The array of legal gaming in Indiana has grown to include lotto drawings and instant ticket games operated by the Hoosier Lottery and pari-mutuel betting at horse racetracks and off-track betting facilities. A mere twenty years ago, these forms of gambling were illegal in Indiana. This changed on November 8, 1988, when voters repealed the state's constitutional prohibition on lotteries. At that time, Article 15, Section 8 of the Indiana Constitution stated that, "[n]o lottery shall be authorized, nor shall the sale of lottery tickets be allowed." While this provision specifically prohibited lotteries and lottery ticket sales, it had been broadly interpreted over the years to prohibit other forms of gaming.1 Thus, by repealing Article 15, Section 8, the voters gave the Indiana legislature the responsibility for deciding what forms of gaming, if any, could be conducted legally in Indiana.

In 1989, legislation was enacted to legalize the Hoosier Lottery and pari-mutuel betting on live horse races. The following year, legislation was enacted authorizing nonprofit organizations to conduct bingo, raffles, and other small stakes gaming often referred to as charity gaming. The legislature expanded the pari-mutuel law in 1992 to allow off-track betting facilities and, in 1993, after several years of consideration, enacted legislation to allow gaming on riverboat casinos.

In the years since, the legislature has augmented gaming laws at various times for various reasons, including allowing dockside and round-the-clock gaming at the riverboat casinos, the Hoosier Lottery to participate in foreign lotteries, and to establish a casino at French Lick. In 2007, the legislature authorized slot machine gaming at the state's two horse racetracks (see Racetrack Casinos sidebar ) and, in 2008, authorized small stakes gaming on pull-tabs and the like in bars and taverns around the state.

This article focuses on the thirteen years of operation of riverboat casinos in Indiana and the growth in the supply of casino games statewide and explains the state excise taxes imposed on the casino owners. It also provides a history of the revenue generated from these excise taxes and reports the purposes for which these revenues have been utilized. We pay particular attention to the state's riverboat wagering tax, which is imposed on the casino's gaming win. The win comprises the wagering dollars retained by the casinos after prize amounts have been paid to winning players. The other excise tax imposed on the riverboat casinos is the riverboat admission tax, a head tax based on the number of gamblers entering the casinos. Note that all years referenced in this article are fiscal years unless otherwise noted.2

The wagering tax is by far the dominant revenue producer of the two excise taxes: it yielded $729.8 million in total revenue during 2008, compared to $81.2 million for the admission tax. More importantly, the wagering tax has become a major source of funding for the state's property tax relief program. In 2008, about $486.3 million in wagering tax revenue was directed to property tax relief. What's more, all wagering tax revenue from the two new racetrack casinos is dedicated to property tax relief. The tax on the racetrack casinos generated almost $5 million for property tax relief in 2008 based on less than one month of operations.

Supply of Riverboat Gaming

The riverboat gaming law authorized eleven casino licenses. The law established the Indiana Gaming Commission to approve license applicants, to regulate the gaming operations of each licensee, and to license and regulate the occupations and suppliers serving the riverboat casinos.

The 1993 riverboat gaming law as originally enacted required five riverboat casinos to operate on Lake Michigan, five to operate on the Ohio River, and one to operate on Patoka Lake in southern Indiana. The law also required that voters had to approve casino gaming at a referendum before a casino could be licensed to operate in their county or city.

Casino Aztar, located in Evansville, was the first casino to begin operating in December 1995. While the Lake Michigan and Ohio River licenses were filed and operating by 2000, the Patoka Lake license was never utilized because the Army Corps of Engineers would not allow a casino to operate on the lake. As a result, the statutory authority for the Patoka Lake license was repealed in 2003. In its place, the legislature authorized a casino to operate in a special historic district in French Lick. The French Lick casino opened in November 2006 and represents the eleventh and last riverboat casino to open under the current riverboat gaming law. Table 1 lists the state's riverboat casinos by location and opening date.

Table 1: Indiana Casino Locations and Opening Dates, 1995 to 2006
Current Casino Name City, County Opening Date at Location
Casino Aztar Evansville, Vanderburgh 12/8/95
Majestic Star Casino I Gary, Lake 6/11/96
Majestic Star Casino II1 Gary, Lake 6/11/96
Horseshoe Casino—Hammond2 Hammond, Lake 6/29/96
Grand Victoria Casino Rising Sun, Ohio 10/4/96
Argosy Casino Lawrenceburg, Dearborn 12/13/96
Ameristar Casino East Chicago3 East Chicago, Lake 4/18/97
Blue Chip Casino Michigan City, LaPorte 8/22/97
Horseshoe Casino—Southern Indiana4 Elizabeth, Harrison 11/20/98
Belterra Casino Vevey, Switzerland 10/27/00
French Lick Casino French Lick, Orange 11/1/06
1. Formerly the Trump Casino
2. Formerly the Empress Casino
3. Formerly the Resorts East Chicago, the Harrahs Casino and the Showboat Casino
4. Formerly Caesars Casino
Source: Indiana Gaming Commission
In December 1995, Casino Aztar opened with 1,267 electronic gaming devices (EGDs) and 70 table games. Since that first riverboat casino, ten more casinos have opened, supplying almost 17,000 additional EGDs and almost 600 additional table games. However, nearly all of this supply growth occurred between 1996 and 2001, with the opening of the Lake Michigan and Ohio River casinos. Belterra Casino, the tenth riverboat casino to open, began operating in October 2000 and registered its first full fiscal year of operations in 2002. Since 2002, however, the supply of EGDs and table games statewide has remained relatively unchanged (see Figure 1). From 2002 to 2008, only one new riverboat casino (the French Lick Casino) opened and only one major expansion was completed when a new and larger facility was opened in 2006 by Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City.

Figure 1: Casino Games in Indiana—Indexed to 1996, 1996 to 2008


The number of EGDs supplied by casinos in Indiana increased by an average of 6.7 percent per year from 1997 (the first full fiscal year of casino gaming) to 2008. During that time, the number of table games supplied at casinos increased by about 3.2 percent annually. However, Figure 1 highlights the two distinct periods of supply growth. While the supply of EGDs grew by an average of 13.5 percent per year from 1997 to 2002, EGD supply has increased by only about 0.9 percent per year since 2003. Table games show a similar change in annual supply, growing by about 7.2 percent annually through 2002, but growing by only 0.1 percent per year since 2003. Most of the post-2002 growth is attributable to the French Lick Casino opening, which added roughly 1,200 EGDs and 45 table games to the state totals beginning in 2007. To a much lesser extent, the Blue Chip expansion had an impact on the state EGD totals by adding about 450 EGDs. Excluding French Lick, the supply of EGDs and table games has actually declined slightly since 2003, showing average declines of about 0.5 percent and 1.1 percent per year, respectively.

Riverboat Casino Taxes

The riverboat gaming law imposes two excise taxes on the casino owners. The riverboat admission tax generated $729.8 million in 2008 and the admission tax generated $81.2 million for state programs and local government units. The state share of the two riverboat casino taxes totaled about $616.1 million, with about $486.3 million being directed to property tax relief. The two casino taxes have become the fifth largest source of revenue to the state following the sales tax, the individual income tax, the motor fuel tax, and the corporate income tax. Moreover, since 1996, the riverboat casinos have paid about $5.9 billion in wagering taxes and about $1.1 billion in admission taxes.

The imposition of the taxes for admission and wagering depends on whether the casino owner chooses to conduct gaming excursions or dockside gaming. The riverboat gaming law imposes a number of regulatory restrictions and requirements on the riverboat casinos. Unlike neighboring states with riverboat gaming, Indiana did not impose regulatory restrictions such as betting limits, loss limits, or gaming machine or position limits. Like other states, Indiana did impose an excursion requirement on the riverboat casinos. Under the excursion requirement, the riverboat casinos had to leave the dock and cruise while gaming was conducted on-board except when water or weather conditions posed a danger for conducting the gaming excursions. The law provides for a maximum excursion length of four hours but, as a practice, the casinos tended to operate two-hour excursion schedules. Dockside gaming was authorized in June 2002 to enable the riverboat casinos to more fully utilize their existing capacity and tap their respective geographic markets. The dockside gaming regime permits a riverboat casino to remain permanently moored at the dock, allowing continuous ingress and egress of gamblers to and from the casinos. While dockside gaming was implemented by all the riverboat casinos in August 2002, the riverboat casinos are still permitted under the current law to conduct gaming excursions if ownership so chooses.

Riverboat Admission Tax

Under the gaming excursion regime, the admission tax is $3 per patron admitted to a gaming excursion. Thus, for every gaming excursion (depending on the excursion schedule of the casino), the casino owner pays the $3 admission tax for each player on board the riverboat casino. The admissions comprise: (1) the turnstile count reflecting when patrons initially enter the casino and embark on an excursion; and (2) additional or multiple excursions reflecting patrons who have stayed on the riverboat for an additional gaming excursion.

The tax regime for riverboat casinos that conduct dockside gaming is markedly different. While the casino owner continues to pay the $3 admission tax, the tax is paid on a different tax base. The tax base for dockside casinos is only the turnstile count or the number of patrons entering the riverboat casino. Figure 2 shows annual admission tax totals and the amounts distributed to state and local government. Local government entities (cities, counties, and county convention bureaus) where the riverboat casinos are docked receive 70 percent of the admission tax revenue. The remaining 30 percent of the admission tax is distributed to the state for mental health programs, horse racing industry initiatives, and the state fair.

Figure 2: Annual Admission Tax Totals and Amounts Distributed to State and Local Government, 1996 to 2008


Admission tax collections declined significantly after 2002 when all of the riverboat casinos switched from the excursion gaming to the dockside gaming regime, resulting in an estimated permanent reduction of roughly 38 percent in the yield of the admission tax. This drop occurred because about 52 percent of the admission tax base under the excursion gaming regime was comprised of players admitted to multiple excursions. However, the base shrinkage was mitigated somewhat by the 20 percent to 30 percent increase in the number of patrons entering the casinos (represented by the turnstile count) due to dockside gaming. With the expected decline in admission tax collections, the dockside gaming legislation guaranteed that each entity receiving admission tax revenue would continue to receive its 2002 yield. Thus, the state programs and local units continue to receive the admission tax collected throughout the fiscal year, but each program and local unit also receives a transfer payment from the state to make-up the fiscal year shortage in collections. The guarantee payment for a fiscal year is made during the following fiscal year from the state's share of wagering tax revenue.3 The black and gray bars first appearing during 2004 in Figure 2 describe the state and local guarantee payments.

The French Lick Casino admission tax is higher and distributed differently. The tax is $4 per patron based on the turnstile count at that venue and there is no guarantee payment for entities receiving this revenue since the casino was authorized and opened after the dockside legislation was enacted. Thirty-eight percent of the admission tax revenue from the French Lick Casino is distributed to the state for economic development initiatives in that region and for preservation of the West Baden Springs Hotel. The remainder is split between local units in Orange County, Crawford County, and Dubois County.

Beyond the downward shift in admission tax collections wrought by dockside gaming, the yield from the tax rose only nominally after dockside gaming was implemented. From 2004 to 2007, the admission tax distributions shown in Figure 2 grew by an annual average of only 1.4 percent. More importantly, distributions declined uncharacteristically in 2008 by about 2.8 percent, even with a full year of collections from the French Lick Casino and its $4 admission tax. Admission tax yields were down at nine of eleven casinos in 2008, with six casinos registering year-over-year declines averaging 2.6 percent. More notable were the declines registered at Blue Chip Casino (down 25.7 percent), Casino Aztar (down 14.5 percent), and Caesars (down 10.6 percent). The Blue Chip decline is a direct result of stiff competition from a new tribal casino that opened at the beginning of August 2007 only ten to fifteen miles away in New Buffalo, Michigan. Similarly, some of the decline at Casino Aztar and Caesars could be attributable to the same phenomenon, as customers living closer to French Lick shift their play from Casino Aztar and Caesars to the French Lick Casino.

Riverboat Wagering Tax

Before July 2002, the riverboat casinos paid a flat rate wagering tax equal to 20 percent of the casino win. This rate increased to 22.5 percent in July 2002 and remains the wagering tax rate imposed on riverboat casinos that conduct gaming excursions. The dockside gaming regime, which all of the riverboat casinos switched to in August 2002, requires the casino owner to pay the wagering tax on a graduated rate schedule in lieu of the flat rate tax. The current graduated rate schedule is specified in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Graduated Rate Schedule for Wagering Taxes, 2008


The rate schedule implemented in 2002 had five tax brackets and topped out at 35 percent of the annual win generated by a casino exceeding $150 million. The 40 percent tax bracket was added by 2007 legislation. Figure 4 shows annual wagering tax totals and the amounts distributed to state and local government.

Figure 4: Annual Wagering Tax Totals and the Amounts Distributed to State and Local Government, 1996 to 2008


Until 2003, 25 percent of the wagering tax was distributed to the city or county where the casino was docked, with the balance going to the state. The state's share was used for capital projects and to replace local motor vehicle excise taxes. However, the combination of expanding the wagering tax base via dockside gaming and increasing the wagering tax rate resulted in a substantial permanent increase in wagering tax revenue. These revenue effects are discernible beginning in 2003, when the amount of wagering tax distributed jumped from $381.5 million to $561.1 million. It's estimated that dockside gaming led to a 12 percent to 13 percent average increase in the casino win, while the wagering tax rate was, on average, increased by about 40 percent. Together, these two changes increased collections during 2003 by about 55 percent, with 2004 collections about 73 percent higher than the 2002 collection total.4 Since these revenue effects were anticipated, the dockside gaming legislation capped the local wagering tax shares at the amount each local government unit received in 2002. This ensured that the additional yield from the wagering tax due to the base expansion and the rate increase would accrue to the state. The legislation also limited the annual amount of state revenue going to capital projects and local motor vehicle excise tax replacement. A new revenue sharing program was established for non-gaming communities and a new and sizeable distribution was created for state property tax relief programs.

Similar to recent admission tax trends, the wagering tax has shown nominal growth since the upward shift in 2003 and 2004 caused by dockside gaming and the concurrent wagering tax increase. In particular, from 2004 to 2007, the annual wagering tax distributions grew by only 1.4 percent per year. It's important to note that the distribution in 2004 is abnormally high because the monthly distribution schedule for the wagering tax was accelerated. Prior to this time, there was a one-month lag in distributions, with the wagering tax collected in one month being distributed to state and local accounts the following month. The 2004 change involved distributing revenue in the same month that it is collected, resulting in thirteen months of wagering tax collections being distributed to state and local accounts during 2004 and the "drop" in 2005. From 2005 to 2007, revenue trended upward again—with the French Lick Casino helping to generate fairly robust growth of about 6 percent in 2007. French Lick contributed about $13 million to the total in 2007 and about $24 million in 2008. Like the admission tax though, 2008 wagering tax distributions experienced a significant decline of about 4.5 percent despite a full year of collections from the French Lick Casino. The 2008 wagering tax yields were down at eight of the eleven casinos, with five casinos averaging a decline of about 4.8 percent. What's more, the decline in wagering tax collections was quite severe at Blue Chip Casino (down 31.8 percent) and Casino Aztar (down 13.3 percent), and less so at Caesars (down 5.6 percent).

As to the state share of the wagering tax, it increased from a fixed 75 percent share each year to over 83 percent in 2003 and has hovered above 80 percent since. Part of the increase in 2003 was attributable to the revenue sharing program being delayed for one year and the revenue sharing distribution being redirected to the state general fund. This impact is shown by the bulge in other state distributions in 2003. Nevertheless, the increased state share is also attributable to the cap placed on local distributions. Through 2007, the state share of the wagering tax yield increased steadily to almost 83 percent of the total, but then declined to about 81 percent in 2008 when wagering tax revenue registered an annual decline. The property tax relief distribution reflects the net amount of wagering tax going to property tax relief after subtraction of the admission tax guarantee payments (see Figure 2). Wagering tax revenue directed to property tax relief rose rapidly from $294.7 million in 2003 to $464 million in 2004. From that point, the amount has been relatively stable, but registered a decline of about 6 percent from $486.3 million in 2007 to $457.3 million in 2008. While the French Lick Casino pays according to the graduated wagering tax schedule, the revenue is distributed differently than wagering tax revenue from the other riverboat casinos. A total of 56.5 percent of the revenue is directed to the state, with two-thirds going to property tax relief and the balance going to preservation of the West Baden Springs Hotel. The remainder is split between local units in Orange County.

Conclusion

The riverboat casino businesses have paid a total of about $5.9 billion in riverboat wagering tax and about $1.1 billion in riverboat admission tax since 1996. In 2008 alone, the wagering tax distribution to state and local government in Indiana totaled $729.8 million, with the distribution of riverboat admission taxes of $81.2 million. While both taxes experienced radical growth from 1996 through 2004, revenue growth from 2004 to 2007 was nominal at best. Moreover, admission tax and wagering tax distributions experienced marked declines of 4.5 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively, in 2008. These recent revenue patterns are certainly grist for additional research as to the adequacy and future growth potential of both casino taxes. Nonetheless, given the sizeable amount of riverboat wagering tax that is being directed to property tax relief, it is essential that the growth potential of this tax be assessed. This research should: (1) evaluate the long-run growth potential of the wagering tax and derive estimates of this expected growth rate; and (2) evaluate the extent to which the wagering tax is subject to short-run economic shocks—most importantly, the rate at which the wagering tax may decline during periods of economic downturn. Also, since Kentucky and Ohio, which represent significant market areas for Indiana casinos, continue to consider the option of casino gaming, it is equally as important to evaluate the potential impact of competition from casinos in these states on the revenue-generating capacity of Indiana casinos.

Notes

For instance, in State v. Nixon (1979), 270 Ind. 192, 384 N.E.2d 152, the Indiana Supreme Court held that pari-mutuel wagering on horse races was unconstitutional under the lottery prohibition in Article 15, Section 8.
References the state fiscal year which begins on July 1st and ends on June 30th of the year denoted.
The guarantee payment for the 2003 shortage was made in 2004. This is why there is no guarantee payment recorded for 2003.
Up until 2004, distributions lagged collections by one month. Thus, fiscal distributions and collections totals could vary significantly. The percentage increases reported are based on collections during the fiscal year and may vary somewhat from the changes in distributions. The 2004 distributions included thirteen months of collections because the distribution schedule was changed to distributing a month's collections at the end of the month rather than during the following month.
Racetrack Casinos Sidebar

The legislature legalized gaming on electronic gaming devices (EGDs) at Indiana's two pari-mutuel horse racetracks in May 2007. The slot machine gaming law provides for only two such gaming facilities, one located at Hoosier Park in Anderson and one at Indiana Downs in Shelbyville. The law limits each facility to 2,000 EGDs and does not allow the facilities to operate table games. Both of the racetrack gaming facilities commenced operation in June 2008.

The slot machine gaming law imposes an initial license fee on the facility owners, a continuing annual license fee after the first five years of operation, state and county wagering taxes, and a funding requirement for certain horse racing purposes. The law requires each racetrack owner to pay an initial license fee of $250 million to the state. The license fee was payable in two installments, with $150 million due before November 1, 2007, and the balance due before November 1, 2008. The revenue from the initial license fee has been directed to property tax relief in 2007 and 2008. After the first five years of operation, the facility owner must pay an annual license fee equal to $100 per EGD operated during the year. The revenue from this annual license will also be directed to property tax relief.

The slot machine gaming law also established three wagering taxes to be paid on the win generated by the EGDs at the racetrack facilities. However, the law does not require payment of an admission tax. The state wagering tax is imposed on the graduated rate structure specified in the graphic below. All revenue from this tax is dedicated to property tax relief.

Graduated Wagering Tax Structure for Racetrack Slot Machines


The racetrack facilities began operations during the last month of Fiscal Year 2008, with the Hoosier Park Casino opening on June 1 and the Indiana Live Casino at Indiana Downs opening on June 9. The two facilities combined to generate approximately $28.9 million in win during June, with the wagering tax liability totaling about $6.5 million.

Two other wagering taxes are imposed by the slot machine gaming law. A county wagering tax is imposed at the rate of 3 percent of the win generated at each facility, with the annual tax liability for each limited to $8 million. The revenue collected from each facility is distributed to local governments within Madison County and Shelby County where the facilities are located. A third wagering tax is imposed at the rate of 1 percent of the win generated at each facility, with the revenue from this tax being distributed as a subsidy to the French Lick Casino. The tax revenue generated from the June 2008 win was about $195,000 for the county wagering tax, and about $65,000 for the supplemental wagering tax.

Also in this Issue…
Future Casino Tax Yields: What Recent Trends in Casino Wagering and Attendance Suggest
Return to Table of Contents
Inside This Issue
Spring 2009 | Volume 84, No. 1
Table of Contents
The Two-Sided Coin: Casino Gaming and Casino Tax Revenue in Indiana
Future Casino Tax Yields: What Recent Trends in Casino Wagering and Attendance Suggest
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The Indiana Business Review is a publication of the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. Permission to use the material is encouraged, but please e-mail us at ibrc@iupui.edu to indicate you will be using the material and in what other publications.
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LADY LUCK CLUB- 2 SIDED COIN- SIDE 2

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ARTICLE 2
http://www.ibrc.indiana.edu/ibr/2009/spring/article2.html
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86 years of economic insights for Indiana The IBR is a publication of the
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at IU's Kelley School of Business

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Future Casino Tax Yields: What Recent Trends in Casino Wagering and Attendance Suggest
Jim Landers, Ph.D.
Senior Fiscal/Program Analyst, Office of Fiscal and Management Analysis, Indiana Legislative Services Agency

This article considers and investigates the future growth potential of the state's wagering taxes. Gaming markets in many states that legalized casino gaming in the 1990s have matured, so the days of extremely robust annual revenue growth may be on the wane. Revenue growth looms large in Indiana as the wagering tax has become a major source of funding for the state's property tax relief program. In 2008, about $486.3 million in revenue from the riverboat wagering tax was directed to property tax relief. What's more, all revenue from the separate racetrack casino wagering tax is dedicated to property tax relief. Note that all years referenced in this article are fiscal years unless otherwise noted.1

We first examine the historical growth patterns in attendance and wagering at Indiana's riverboat casinos. By analyzing the win—the base for the wagering tax—instead of wagering tax revenue, we eliminate problems with measuring tax rates and the impact of changes in tax rates over time.2 Analyzing casino attendance helps to delineate growth in the win that's attributable to income growth versus growth attributable to capacity expansion and market share growth. This is critical because if the markets in Indiana have matured, the annual growth in the wagering tax base will come from the underlying growth in the average win per gambling patron.

In addition, this article examines the response of the wagering tax base to economic change and how casino gaming in bordering states could affect business at Indiana casinos. Both are critical issues in and of themselves relating to the future growth in gaming revenue.

Recent Patterns in Casino Win and Attendance

During 2008, 26.2 million people gambled at Indiana's eleven riverboat casinos, generating about $2.6 billion in win. The 2008 attendance and win levels are a long way from the first, albeit partial, year of casino operations in 1996 when roughly 944,000 gamblers generated a win total of about $71.9 million. Figure 1 reports annual attendance and win totals for the riverboat casinos.

Figure 1: Annual Casino Attendance and Casino Win, 1996 to 2008


Annual attendance and win grew dramatically in the 1990s, exhibiting a year-to-year pattern similar to the growth patterns for electronic gaming devices (EGDs) and table games discussed in the previous article ("The Two-Sided Coin: Casino Gaming and Casino Tax Revenue in Indiana"). While lagging the supply trends, the trajectory of the attendance and win series also exhibits a rapid leveling off in recent years. From 1997 to 2008, the casinos registered average annual growth for attendance and win of 9.2 percent and 11.9 percent, respectively. However, the annual growth rates for particular years vary significantly around these averages. The leveling in the attendance series and the win series is quite discernible beginning in 2004 once the impact of dockside gaming had registered fully.

Contrasting the two growth periods, attendance increased at a 15.4 percent average annual rate from 1997 to 2002, but dropped to about 1.6 percent on average from 2003 to 2008. Similarly, annual growth in the win averaged about 21.2 percent from 1997 to 2002, but fell to about 3.4 percent from 2003 to 2008. The year-over-year growth rates also have generally declined each year with the most recent years below the average for the period. Annual attendance growth fell from 9.7 percent in 2004 to 0.8 percent in 2005 and 0.9 percent in 2006. The win has followed a similar pattern, with annual growth rates falling from 7.2 percent in 2004 to 4.1 percent in 2005 and 3.1 percent in 2006. Both attendance and win declined in 2008, with attendance declining by 5.1 percent and win declining by 3.5 percent. 2007 represents the outlier during this period because of the opening of the French Lick Casino. Excluding the French Lick Casino from the calculations, 2007 attendance at the remaining ten casinos actually declined by about 1.6 percent (some of which may have resulted from attendance shifting from existing casinos to French Lick). However, the 2007 win rebounded slightly from 2006 to register a 3.6 percent growth rate.

The data indicate that the impact of dockside gaming on attendance and win was significant. While the average amount wagered per gambler wasn't expected to increase, the aggregate amount wagered was expected to rise as more gamblers cycled through the casinos each day. The upward shift in annual attendance following the implementation of dockside gaming is discernible beginning in 2003, but is even more noticeable in 2004, which was the first full fiscal year for dockside operations. Compared to 2002, overall attendance was 19 percent higher in 2003 and 30.5 percent higher in 2004.3 Likewise, the aggregate win was 12 percent higher in 2003 and 20 percent higher in 2004 compared to 2002.

While the aggregate win grew by 11.9 percent per year on average from 1997 to 2008, the average win per patron grew by only 2.5 percent per year during this period (see Figure 2). The gap in the growth rates surfaced primarily between 1997 and 2002, when growth in the win averaged about 21.2 percent per year but the win per patron grew by only about 5 percent per year. Since 2003, however, average annual growth in the win has fallen precipitously and the gap between annual growth in the win and the average per patron win has closed almost entirely. Since 2003, average annual growth in the win has registered 3.4 percent while the average per patron win has grown by only 1.8 percent per year. This suggests that the radical year-over-year growth in win during the 1990s was largely due to capacity increases and market expansion via casino start-ups. The statistics indicate that less than a quarter of the annual growth in win during that period was due to year-over-year growth in the win per patron. Now, with the casinos serving relatively mature and stable markets, annual growth in the aggregate win will rely almost entirely on growth in the average win per patron. Based on the average per patron win, the resulting growth could be little more than 1 percent to 2 percent per year.

Figure 2: Annual Aggregate Win and Win per Gambling Patron, 1996 to 2008


The Income Elasticity of the Wagering Tax Base

The income elasticity of the win provides the best indicator of how revenue generation by the casinos has changed and where it may be going. As with purchases of other goods and services, personal income represents the main economic variable that drives casino attendance and wagering levels.4 The income elasticity of the win measures the percentage change in the win due to a 1 percent change in personal income. In the aggregate, Indiana personal income grew by an average 4.3 percent per calendar year from 1996 to 2007.5 The aggregate win generated by the riverboat casinos grew by an average of 11.9 percent from 1997 to 2008 (roughly the same period). This suggests a rather large income elasticity of 2.8, implying that a 1 percent increase in personal income leads to a 2.8 percent increase in the win.6 However, this fails to control for the impact of rapid supply growth that led to radical year-over-year growth in casino attendance and win during the 1990s. Remember, from 1996 to 2001, the supply of casino gaming in Indiana grew from zero to ten riverboat casinos, over 16,000 EGDs, and almost 700 table games. Thus, comparing the aggregate totals after 2002, or comparing the win per patron with per capita personal income, provides an elasticity measure that isn't biased by the supply and market expansion during the 1990s. While personal income grew by an average of 4.1 percent per calendar year from 2002 to 2007, the 2003 to 2008 growth in win averaged about 3.4 percent. This implies that the income elasticity is really about 0.8. Comparing the average win per patron with per capita personal income (PCPI) confirms this result. PCPI grew by an average of 3.6 percent per calendar year from 1996 to 2007 while the win per patron grew by an average of 2.5 percent per year from 1997 to 2008. This implies an income elasticity equal to about 0.7.7

A couple of recent studies of the long-run and short-run income elasticity of casino win confirm these results. The long-run elasticity focuses on the trend in the win, measuring the relationship between the trend in the win and the trend in personal income. The short-run elasticity, however, focuses on deviations from the long-run trend due to short-term fluctuations in the business cycle, measuring whether wagering is cyclical or counter-cyclical.

Landers (2008a) utilizes aggregate quarterly win and attendance totals for the riverboat casinos in Indiana and quarterly Indiana personal income estimates to forecast the win generated by the casinos. Since wagering could vary with changes in demand for gambling, the forecast model focuses on the relationship between the win and personal income. The forecast model also accounts for the impact of supply changes on the win, using quarterly casino attendance as a proxy for the impact of supply changes on the aggregate quarterly win. Using a quarterly series running from 1997 to 2004 and 1997 to 2005, Landers generates statistically significant income elasticity estimates ranging from 1.35 to 1.55. When the estimating series is shortened, beginning in 2000 or 2001 and running through 2005, the income elasticity estimates remain statistically significant but fall to a range of 0.49 to 0.57. Thus, without the confounding effects of casino start-ups, market expansions, and deregulatory policies that occurred until the early 2000s, the actual income effects are more discernible and potentially are not so robust.

Tosun and Nichols (2008) confirm that the long-run income elasticity in mature casino markets may be considerably lower than in new markets. They estimate the income elasticity in eleven states. The data encompasses all quarters of casino gaming in nine of the states going back to the 1990s, and goes back as far as the mid-1980s for Nevada and New Jersey. Tosun and Nichols generate statistically significant income elasticity estimates for eight states where casino gaming began during the 1990s. The estimated elasticity values average about 1.4, and range from about 0.9 to 2.0. In contrast, the elasticity estimates for Nevada and New Jersey, where the casino markets were relatively mature by the 1990s, equaled 0.22 and 0.38, respectively.

Understanding the potential short-run effects of an economic downturn on Indiana's wagering tax base are, however, equally as important as understanding the long-run growth patterns. On this subject, the information is scant. The 2000 to 2001 period is the only time until recently that an economic slowdown has occurred while Indiana has had casino gaming.8 Unfortunately, still-maturing casino markets coupled with the startup of Belterra Casino in October 2000 masked any cyclical behavior of the wagering tax base. In addition to their long-run elasticity estimates, Tosun and Nichols also use their eleven-state sample to provide illuminating estimates of the short-run income elasticity of casino win. Six of the income elasticity estimates they generate are statistically significant and range from 0.86 to 1.95, with the high being the estimate for Indiana. The Indiana estimate suggests that the wagering tax base is cyclical and highly responsive to cyclical economic change, with a 1 percent decline in real personal income resulting in a decline in the wagering tax base of 1.95 percent. A 1.95 percent decline in the wagering tax base could result in a loss of wagering tax totaling about $14.2 million based on the average tax rate paid by the casinos. However, the revenue loss could be higher to the extent that the base decline is skewed to casinos paying the highest marginal wagering tax rate. In 2008, Indiana real personal income declined by about 1 percent.9 Tosun and Nichols' short-run estimate for Indiana indicates that the wagering tax base should have declined by about 2 percent. In fact, actual win declined by 3.5 percent, suggesting Tosun and Nichols' research may underestimate the impact of cyclical downturns on the wagering tax.

The Potential Impact of Cross-Border Competition

Research by various sources suggests that riverboat casinos, like those in Indiana and other Midwestern states, tend to serve spatial markets of 50 to 100 miles, with the preponderance of patrons traveling less than 50 miles to visit a casino. Gazel and Thompson (1996) interviewed casino patrons in Illinois, finding that 50 percent of the interview subjects resided within 25 miles of the casino they visited. An additional 35 percent of the casino patrons resided between 25 and 50 miles of the casino they visited. Less than 5 percent of the interview subjects traveled more than 100 miles to visit a casino.10 The Illinois Gaming Board (1997) performed similar survey research that suggested that about 62 percent of Illinois casino patrons lived within 50 miles of the casino they visited.11 Over half of these casino patrons lived within 25 miles of their preferred casino. Relative to Indiana, Przybylski et al. (1998) found that only about 4 percent of patrons at the casinos on the Ohio River in Southern Indiana traveled more than 120 miles to visit one of the casinos, and only about 3 percent of patrons at the casinos in Northwest Indiana traveled more than 60 miles to visit a casino.12 Consequently, the fact that ten of eleven riverboat casinos are located on Indiana's borders suggests that a significant proportion of gamblers visiting Indiana casinos reside in surrounding states.13 Figure 3 shows the locations of Indiana's eleven riverboat casinos and two new racetrack casinos.

Figure 3: Location of Indiana's Eleven Riverboat and Racetrack Casinos, 2008


Przbylski et al. (1998) estimated that Indiana residents represented about 54 percent of the gamblers visiting the riverboat casinos on the Ohio River in southern Indiana, but represented only about 12 percent of the patrons visiting the Northwest Indiana casinos. More recently, Policy Analytics, LLC (2006) estimated that the Indiana resident share of casino patrons totals about 36 percent at the casinos on the Ohio River and about 32 percent at the Northwest Indiana casinos.14 This clearly indicates that expansion of casino gambling in the surrounding states near Indiana's borders could interfere with the existing casino markets and significantly impact the yield from Indiana's wagering taxes.

Historically, casinos in northern Illinois have posed the only real direct competition for Indiana riverboat casinos. Casino gaming is illegal in Kentucky and Ohio and, until recently, casino gaming in Michigan was limited to commercial casinos in Detroit and tribal casinos far enough north that they did not interfere with any Indiana casino markets. This changed in August 2007, when Four Winds Casino opened in Michigan about 10 to 15 miles from Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City. Since opening, Four Winds has displaced roughly one-third of Blue Chip's business, leading to a reduction in wagering tax revenue from Blue Chip of about $27 million in 2008.15 This illustrates how critical surrounding state competition could become if Ohio or Kentucky authorizes casino gaming. Casino gaming in either state could result in significant displacement of business and tax revenue from casinos in southern Indiana. In 2008, the six casinos in southern Indiana generated about 52 percent of the statewide win (about $1,321.8 million) and about 52 percent of the total wagering tax (about $376.9 million).

Ballot initiatives to amend the Ohio constitution and allow casino gambling were defeated in 2006 and 2008 by wide margins. Nevertheless, it appears that a new ballot initiative may be in the works for the 2009 election. Reportedly, Penn National Gaming, Inc. is spearheading a drive for a ballot measure to legalize racetrack casinos and stand-alone casinos in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus. Interestingly, Penn National owns the Argosy Casino in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, but also owns Raceway Park in Toledo, Ohio, one of the locations where a racetrack casino could be built.16 Penn National also reported a total of almost $38 million in contributions to the "No on Issue 6" political action committee that opposed the 2008 ballot initiative.17

In 2008, the Kentucky legislature considered but failed to approve a ballot measure that would have amended the Kentucky constitution to legalize casino gaming. Legislation has been introduced this year to allow operation of video lottery terminals (VLTs) at seven of Kentucky's eight racetracks.18 These locations would include Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky; Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky (near Evansville); and Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky (near Cincinnati). Since the proposed legislation would be an expansion of the Kentucky Lottery, it is being argued that it does not require a statewide referendum on a constitutional amendment to legalize casino gaming.19

The preponderance of the impact from surrounding state competition would likely manifest itself by gamblers from those states shifting their attendance from Indiana casinos to closer alternatives in those states. Locating casinos in Cincinnati, northern Kentucky, Louisville, or near Evansville could displace a significant share of the customer base that the southern Indiana casinos serve in Kentucky and Ohio. Any patron shift predicated solely on proximity could be exacerbated if the surrounding states adopted less costly regulatory structures or lower gaming taxes. This action could serve to free-up more capital at competing casinos which could be used for better marketing, such as higher player allowances, higher pay-out rates on EGDs, and better complimentary items (or "comps") like free meals, drinks, and hotel rooms. In addition, competition from surrounding state casinos could cause Indiana casinos to "price-compete" or increase the pay-out rate on EGDs (where the pay-out rate is adjustable) to maintain their customer base.20 This would increase the average percentage of the gross wagers paid back to gamblers, but would decrease the win, which is the base for the wagering tax.21 Navin and Sullivan (2007) investigated the impact that new casinos entering the St. Louis area casino market potentially have on the EGD win percentage at existing casinos. Their estimates suggest that the opening of additional casinos within 50 miles of another casino decreases the win percentage at existing casinos by 0.4 percent to 1 percent for each new casino opening within that distance.

The recent displacement of business at Blue Chip Casino by nearby Four Winds Casino serves to demonstrate the attendance and win losses that could occur in other Indiana casino markets if Kentucky or Ohio legalizes casino gaming and makes a concerted effort to establish casinos in areas bordering Indiana. Four Winds is a tribal casino operated by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians in New Buffalo, Michigan. The location is 10 to 15 miles from Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, well within the spatial market to the north and east that Blue Chip monopolized since it opened in August 1997. Figure 4 shows the 25-mile, 50-mile, and 100-mile areas around Blue Chip Casino.

Figure 4: Blue Chip Casino Market


Blue Chip's market area has always been somewhat truncated to the west due to the casinos in Lake County and Illinois. However, prior to the opening of Four Winds, Blue Chip's market to the east and northeast was basically unimpeded. Making the simplifying assumption that a gambler won't pass one casino to visit another casino that is further away, Four Winds physically reduces Blue Chip's market area, to the east and especially to the northeast. What's more, in comparison to Blue Chip, Four Winds pays a much lower excise tax on its gaming receipts. During 2008, the combined admissions and wagering tax rate on Blue Chip casino was 31.3 percent of the casino win. In contrast, Four Winds pays a total of 8 percent of its win on EGDs only to state and local government in Michigan. Thus, not only can Four Winds compete with Blue Chip by its proximity to gamblers in that general market, it potentially can undercut Blue Chip (vis-à-vis marketing, pay-out rates, or comps) solely on the basis of the tax differential.

Figure 5 and Figure 6 compare the monthly attendance and win at Blue Chip Casino to the average monthly attendance and win at all other casinos in Indiana.22 The attendance and win series are de-seasonalized using a twelve-month moving average in order to smooth month-to-month volatility. Each series for all other Indiana casinos is relatively smooth and stable. The average monthly attendance declined slowly from about 225,000 to about 200,000 from the beginning to the end of the series. Meanwhile, the average monthly win was roughly $20 million per month over most of the series, but fell below the $20 million mark in 2008.

Figure 5: Blue Chip Casino and Other Casinos' Monthly Attendance, 2004 to 2008


Figure 6: Blue Chip Casino and Other Casinos' Monthly Wins, 2004 to 2008


In comparison, the monthly attendance and win at Blue Chip jumped in February 2006 from averages of roughly 232,000 and $19.5 million, respectively, to averages of about 280,000 and $24 million, respectively.23 The opening of a new and larger riverboat casino by Blue Chip led to these marked increases. However, after Four Winds Casino opened in August 2007, average monthly attendance and win fell to levels well below those attained at Blue Chip when it operated its old riverboat casino. From August 2007 to December 2008, Blue Chip averaged only about 188,000 patrons and about $15.7 million in win per month. Comparing the August 2007 to July 2008 period to the prior twelve-month period, attendance at Blue Chip has declined by about 26 percent and the win generated by the casino has declined by about 27 percent. In 2008, these declines in business led to losses of about $2.5 million (a 26 percent reduction) in admission tax payments and about $27 million (a 32 percent reduction) in wagering tax payments from Blue Chip Casino. This entire revenue loss accrued to the state and its property tax relief program.

While the competition from Four Winds has led to marked reductions in the attendance and win generated by Blue Chip, it appears that it has also pushed the win percentage on EGDs down slightly as predicted by Navin and Sullivan (2007). On average, the win percentage on EGDs reported monthly for Blue Chip Casino has been slightly lower since Four Winds Casino opened compared to prior years. The mean difference in the win percentage before and after Four Winds opened is statistically significant, ranging from about 0.14 percent to 0.21 percent depending on the time frame of the comparison.24 This magnitude fails to approach the win percentage reductions cited by Navin and Sullivan, but could have reduced the wagering tax payments from Blue Chip by roughly $1.5 million to $2.5 million. This is based on the total amount wagered on EGDs at Blue Chip in 2007 before Four Winds opened.25 Consequently, the small, albeit statistically significant, decline in Blue Chip's win percentage indicates that almost all of the reductions in win and wagering tax from Blue Chip is due to patrons shifting their business to Four Winds Casino and not from any "price" competing behavior by Blue Chip.

Conclusion

The history of casino gambling in Indiana to this point has been dominated by two contrasting growth periods. The first, stretching from 1996 until roughly 2001 or 2002, witnessed the opening of ten riverboat casinos with over 16,000 EGDs and almost 700 table games. Average annual growth in casino attendance equaled about 15.4 percent and the average annual growth in casino win equaled about 21.2 percent. However remarkable these early growth rates were, the speed at which the trend in casino attendance and casino win has since flattened out is just as remarkable. Since 2003, attendance has grown by an average of only 1.6 percent per year, with the win growing by an average of only 3.4 percent.

The recent trends in casino attendance and win suggest that, at best, long-run annual growth in the wagering tax may persist, but at rather nominal rates. Research estimating the relationship between personal income and casino win confirms this conclusion. The research also indicates that in mature casino markets, like those in Indiana, casino win may grow at a rate that is only one-half to three-quarters the annual rate of growth in personal income. What's more, this research suggests that cyclical economic downturns could have significant negative short-run effects on wagering tax revenue. Short-run declines in income during recessionary periods could lead to declines in casino win at almost twice the rate of decline in income. Finally, future growth in wagering tax revenue could be significantly impaired if casino gaming is legalized in Ohio or Kentucky and competing casinos are located in the Cincinnati or Louisville areas, or in Kentucky near Evansville. The level of displacement that might occur with competition from either Ohio or Kentucky is not estimable. However, the displacement occurring at Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City due to competition from a nearby casino in Michigan is indicative of how critical this issue could become.

Notes

References the state fiscal year, which begins on July 1st and ends on June 30th of the year denoted.
Recall that the wagering tax series contains coincident structural breaks in 2002. At that time, dockside gaming began, but the wagering tax was increased by about 40 percent when the rate structure was changed from a flat rate of 20 percent to a graduated rate structure ranging from 15 percent to 35 percent.
Twenty-four-hour gaming operations at the casinos were allowed for the first time in 2004; however, there was no statistically discernible impact of this change on attendance or win.
See Nichols (1998), Rivenbark (1998), Layton and Worthington (1999), Potiowsky and Parker (2000), Thalheimer and Ali (2003, 2008), Nicols and Tosun (2008), and Landers (2008a, 2008b).
Annual aggregate and per capita personal income measures utilized in this article are estimates (updated September 18, 2008) published by the Regional Economic Information System, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce.
The arc elasticity is equal to 2.4.
The arc elasticity is equal to 0.7.
U.S. GDP declined in the third quarter of 2000 and the first and third quarters of 2001 according to the National Income and Product Accounts, Real Gross Domestic Product, Chained Dollars, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Quarterly real personal income in Indiana in millions of chained 2000 dollars, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, third quarter 2007 to second quarter 2008, release date 12/18/08, http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/personalincome.
Based on interviews of randomly selected patrons (n=785) visiting five Illinois riverboat casinos during July–August 1995.
Based on surveys of randomly selected patrons (n = 13,000) visiting ten Illinois riverboat casinos over four days in June 1997.
Based on ZIP code data for players supplied by Indiana casinos.
The two new racetrack casinos in Anderson and Shelbyville likely serve a proportionately smaller non-resident customer base due to their interior locations.
Based on ZIP code level patron data supplied by riverboat casinos located in Northwest Indiana and the Ohio River. Data report casino attendance and casino win by ZIP code.
Blue Chip's win in 2008 was $77.5 million below its 2007 win. Based on a 35 percent marginal wagering tax rate, the loss in win led to a loss of about $27 million in wagering tax revenue.
James Nash, "Gambling company now pushing own casino proposal: Penn National, which fought rival's 2008 ballot issue, looks to November election," Columbus Dispatch, January 9, 2009, www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2009/01/09/casino.html.
Pac Contributions—No on 6 Committee (Con Issue 6), Campaign Finance Filings Database, Campaign Finance Unit, Ohio Secretary of State, www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/Campaign%20Finance/disclosure.aspx.
Video lottery terminals are operated at racetracks in Delaware, Rhode Island, and West Virginia, and at social and fraternal clubs in West Virginia, with the state lottery agencies in these states administering and regulating their use.
Gregory A. Hall, "Stumbo files gambling bill," Louisville Courier-Journal, January 9, 2009.
The win percentage on EGDs can be readily altered by casino owners while the win percentage for table games reflects traditional payout rates.
The win percentage is the average percentage of the gross wagers on EGDs retained by the casino. It represents the price to the gambler for playing the EGDs. The payout rate is equal to one minus the win percentage, thus, increasing the pay-out rate decreases the price to the gambler. However, the base for wagering tax is the win. So price competition is expected to reduce the win and, as a result, reduce the wagering tax yield.
The June–December 2008 win totals for other casinos include the monthly win totals from the Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs racetrack casinos.
Severe weather affected attendance and win in February 2006.
Based on separate t-tests: (1) An independent samples t-test comparing the January 2004–July 2007 average monthly win percentage to the August 2007–December 2008 monthly average; and (2) a paired samples t-test comparing the August 2006–July 2007 average monthly win percentage to the August 2007–July 2008 monthly average. Both tests were significant at less than the 1 percent level.
The "coin-in" or total wagers on EGDs at Blue Chip during 2007 totaled $3,216.3 million. The win percentage reductions led to a reduction in the win of about $4.5 million to $6.8 million based on the coin-in total. Based on a 35 percent marginal wagering tax rate, the revenue loss would range from about $1.6 million to $2.4 million.
References

Illinois Gaming Board. 1997. 1997 Annual Report. Springfield: Illinois Gaming Board.
Gazel, Ricardo C., and William N. Thompson. 1996. Casino Gamblers in Illinois: Who Are They? A Demographic and Economic Study. Chicago: Better Government Association.
Layton, Allan, and Andrew Worthington. 1999. The Impact of Socio-economic Factors on Gambling Expenditure. International Journal of Social Economics 26(1):430–439.
Landers, Jim. In Jinping Sun and Thomas D. Lynch, eds. 2008a. Methods and Issues in Forecasting Casino Tax Revenue. Government Budget Forecasting: Theory and Practice 161-185. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press Taylor and Francis Group.
Landers, Jim. 2008b. What's the Potential Impact of Casino Tax Increases on Wagering Handle: Estimates of the Price Elasticity of Demand for Casino Gaming. Economics Bulletin 8(6):1–15.
Navin, John C., and Timothy S. Sullivan. 2007. Do Riverboat Casinos Act as Competitors? A Look at the St. Louis Market. Economic Development Quarterly 21(1):49–59.
Nichols, Mark. W. 1998. Deregulation and Cross-Border Substitution in Iowa's Riverboat Gambling Industry. Journal of Gambling Studies 14(2):151–172.
Nichols, Mark, and Mehmet S. Tosun. 2007. Actual Tax Base Elasticity of Gaming Revenues: Short-Run and Long-Run Estimates. Paper presented at the National Tax Association 100th Annual Conference on Taxation, November 15-17, 2007. Columbus, Ohio.
Policy Analytics, LLC. 2006. A Benefit-Cost Analysis of Indiana's Riverboat Casinos for FY2005: A Report to the Indiana Legislative Council and the Indiana Gaming Commission. Indianapolis: Policy Analytics, LLC.
Potiowsky, Tom, and Cora Parker. 2000. Oregon's Lottery Revenue Forecast. Paper presented at the Federation of Tax Administrators Annual Revenue Estimating and Tax Research Conference, September 24-27, 2000. Waterville Valley, New Hampshire.
Przybylski, Michael, Daniel Felenstein, Daniel Freeman, and Laura Littlepage. 1998. Does Gambling Complement the Tourist Industry? Some Empirical Evidence of Import Substitution and Demand Displacement. Tourism Economics 4(3):213–232.
Rivenbark, William C. 1998. The Tax Incidence of Casino Gaming in Mississippi. Public Finance Review 26(6):583–598.
Thalheimer, Richard, and Mukhtar M. Ali. 2003. The Demand for Casino Gaming. Applied Economics 35(8):907–918.
Thalheimer, Richard, and Mukhtar M. Ali. 2008. The Demand for Casino Gaming With Special Reference to a Smoking Ban. Economic Inquiry 46(2):273–282.
Also in this Issue…
The Two-Sided Coin: Casino Gaming and Casino Tax Revenue in Indiana
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Inside This Issue
Spring 2009 | Volume 84, No. 1
Table of Contents
The Two-Sided Coin: Casino Gaming and Casino Tax Revenue in Indiana
Future Casino Tax Yields: What Recent Trends in Casino Wagering and Attendance Suggest
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The Indiana Business Review is a publication of the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. Permission to use the material is encouraged, but please e-mail us at ibrc@iupui.edu to indicate you will be using the material and in what other publications.

BOYD GAMING CORPORATION BLUE CHIP CASINO- 2 LARGEST FLOATING CASINO SHIP IN AMERICA
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Featured Application: Largest floating casino in the United States — Boyd Gaming's BLUE CHIP 2


Boyd Gaming Corporation's new BLUE CHIP 2 is the largest floating casino in the United States. The new gaming vessel is shown dockside in front of its predecessor at the Michigan City, Indiana property



Background

Headquartered in Las Vegas, Boyd Gaming Corporation operates casino across the country and is a significant player in the $32 billion gaming entertainment industry.

The three-story Blue Chip Casino located in Michigan City, Indiana, was Boyd Gaming’s most successful riverboat casino operation of its 17 gaming entertainment properties. Then the NYSE-traded company undertook a $170 million expansion program to “raise the bar in the northern Indiana market.”

Enter the new improved Blue Chip 2 – more than 50 percent larger than its predecessor (also pictured at left), the Blue Chip Casino Hotel is the largest casino boat hull size in the country as inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Blue Chip 2 offers 65,000 square feet of casino action on one level with 2,170 slot machines and 51 table games. The pavilion adjoins the 184-room Blue Chip Hotel and features an elegant steakhouse, action buffet, deli and coffee station, as well as a live entertainment lounge at the main entrance of the casino.

Promising patrons “Exhilarating casino action, chart-topping entertainment, award-winning restaurants, beautiful environments and plenty of shopping and recreational pursuits,” meant a tremendous amount of confidence would be placed in the reliability and seamless operation of the casino’s electrical system that keeps this successful operation running 24-hours-a-day, day in and day out.


Main Switchboard during initial commissioning by IPS Senior Field Service Technician, Bob Raczak


Application Details

In a conventional marine installation, the ship service generators and switchgear alone supply the electrical power for all on-board facilities and equipment. But the electric power systems of tethered floating casinos are quite unique. What sets them apart from the typical marine application is that while they are moored, they are actually connected as marine-industrial hybrids requiring integrated marine and utility-grade controls. In this arrangement, ship service power is connected in parallel with shore power, as long as the vessel is moored, so that several different ship service/shore power modes of operation are available to the operators.

Gaming operations conducted on floating casinos can be lost from service for many reasons including casualty, forces of nature, mechanical failure or extended or extraordinary maintenance. It is therefore incumbent on the owners to equip their vessels with the most trusted and reliable electrical power systems available that comply with United States Coast Guard requirements as to boat design, on-board facilities, equipment, personnel and safety.

Such specialized integrated marine-utility applications require a great deal of knowledge and experience and Industrial Power Systems has built a solid reputation designing quality control switchboards for both marine and industrial applications. The Blue Chip 2 is a prestigious addition to IPS’s impressive list of riverboat and tethered floating casino applications.

Blue Chip 2 was built on-site at its Michigan City facility by Jamestown Metal Marine Sales, Inc. to a design by Guido Perla & Associates (GPA), of Seattle. In addition to their role as naval architects, GPA was also the project’s electrical engineer. The specifications GPA developed provided the integrated functionality, and IPS was contracted to design the switchgear to meet the very specialized requirements.

On-board electric power is provided by four 1,825 kW Caterpillar engine-generator sets supplied by NC Power Systems, Seattle. Generator set control, electric propulsion and integration with shore power supplied by the local electric utility is provided by the IPS-supplied main ship service/propulsion switchboard.

For the Blue Chip 2, IPS also supplied the emergency switchboard, two 400 HP propulsion thruster motors, and propulsion thruster SCR (Silicon Controlled Rectifier) drives.

On the shore-side, IPS supplied the 12.5 kV shore power distribution switchboard, seven 12.5 kV:4160 V and 4160V:480V step down transformers, and five 12.5 kV shore power disconnect switches.

The main ship service/propulsion switchboard is constructed with two main power busses—a ship service bus and a propulsion bus. Shore power sources (electric utility) are connected only to the ship service bus and allow for continuous parallel operation with the ship service generators. A bus tie circuit breaker on each bus splits the port and starboard side of the switchboard to allow operation in the event of a casualty situation, such as an onboard fire.


HMI screens provide operators with critical real-time visual status


The primary switchboard control for each generator set is a multi-function genset control package (GCP). It provides basic engine control, synchronizing, and engine load control when operating in parallel with shore power.

System control and automation is via a master programmable logic controller (PLC) which constantly monitors utility power quality, and a touch screen operator interface panel (OIP) which allows operators to set system modes and program load demand sequences, and also provides system overviews and annunciation.

The entire system is designed to operate in a variety of power modes. In the marine mode (isolated vessel), all ship’s service and propulsion power requirements are delivered through the main ship service/propulsion switchboard, independent of shore power. The load demand operation for automatically starting, paralleling, and shutting down generators is based on system load being adjusted from the OIP.

In the shore power mode, the vessel is moored and all of the casino’s loads are served through the IPS-supplied 12.5kV shore power distribution switchboard with the ship service generators in standby mode and the PLC monitoring power quality. In this mode all generators are available to provide power on demand when needed.

Two additional modes provide complete functionality. In the generator with shore power import mode, utility power can be imported onto the vessel, while the generators are operating in parallel with the utility and the generators configured for base load operation.

In the final shore power with generator export mode, generator power can be exported to the land-based Blue Chip Hotel, while the generators are operating in parallel with the utility, the generators are set for base load operation, and shore power to the hotel is maintained at a constant level.

The generators are always set for base load operation when operating in parallel with the utility. Generator loading and sequencing is set through the OIP, they are brought online at preset base load levels according to the sequence selected and similarly shut down in sequence as demand changes. The generators do not share load with shore power. They operate in parallel with shore power at base load reference set points set for the generators by the GCP, and the utility provides excess base load and power for momentary system peak loads.

Normally, during all modes of operation only the ship service bus is utilized. The exception is the marine mode when propulsion may be required. Power is made available to the two 400 HP SCR drives from any one of three generators, and once selected the propulsion generator will operate exclusively via the propulsion bus. It cannot be connected to the ship service bus at the same time. This design isolates the inherent electrical noise of the SCR propulsion drives, when in use, from interfering with normal ship services, notably casino operations. When propulsion maneuvers cease, the generator can then be switched back to the ship service bus.


Opening Night at the new, improved BLUE CHIP CASINO HOTEL
Testing and Installation

In accordance with IPS’s high standards of workmanship and professionalism, representatives from Guido Perla & Associates and Boyd Gaming representatives were invited and attended witness testing of the switchgear in Jacksonville. USCG conducted its inspections during commissioning, after the system was installed.

What IPS Can Do For You

Industrial Power Systems designs and builds quality electrical controls and switchgear systems for marine and industrial applications. Specialists in custom design and fabrication, IPS offers both bid-to-specification, and design-and-build products.

IPS builds to meet ABS, USCG and IEEE Rules and Regulations for marine applications in the USA and other classification societies including Lloyd’s and Det Norske Veritas for international applications, and has been serving the marine industry with outstanding workmanship for over 25 years.

Take the Next Step

Call Glenn Beaupre, Marine Division Sales Manager, at 904.731.8844 (glenn @ipsjax.com) and ask about IPS designing and building the electrical power system for your next marine application.

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