A new casino that opened Monday in Cincinnati is expected to pressure nearby riverboat casinos in southeast Indiana, Moody’s Investors Service said Friday.
The new casino is one of four opened in Ohio’s four biggest cities since voters approved the move in 2011.
The new facilities have already hurt revenues for three Indiana riverboats that are located about 25 miles away from Cincinnati, Moody’s said.
“Ever since the first casino in Ohio opened last May, the Indiana riverboats have seen a squeeze on their business,” the rating agency said in a new report, “Cincinnati Casino Will Raise the Heat on Indiana Riverboats.”
The new Cincinnati facility brings a new threat to the boats, according to analysts.
The Indiana boats have seen a nearly 11% combined decline in gambling revenues for the first eight months of Ohio’s new operations compared to the same period the previous year, according to Moody’s.
“The Cincinnati casino’s size and proximity to the city’s population of 300,000 will give local gamblers less incentive to travel to the Indiana riverboats,” Moody’s said.
Indiana legislators, bracing for the new competition, are in the process of debating and approving a series of bills that would make the Hoosier gambling facilities more competitive.
The bills, which the Senate recently passed, would allow riverboats to move on land, lower casino taxes and expand table games.