Monday, November 07, 2011

Detroit's Casinos Poised to Lose 20-30% of Their Business to new Hollywood Casino Toledo next year

Short-sighted infighting and competitive jealousy among Detroit's three casino operators 
could keep them from working together to collectively market Detroit as a destination 
with sports venues, theaters, concert halls and other attractions.

Penn National Gaming's Hollywood Casino Toledo
Matt Helm of the Detroit Free Press is reporting that Penn National Gaming is set to open Hollywood Casino Toledo in April.  The $300 million gambling palace will have 2,000 slot machines, 60 table games and 20 live poker tables; comparable in size to Detroit's three commercial casinos.  

For more than a decade, Toledo residents who had an urge to gamble got in their cars or on charter buses to make the one-hour drive north on I-75 where they could play at any Detroit's three Las Vegas-style casinos. However, with the opening of the Toledo casino, locals there hope to stem the steady traffic northward and keep that gambling money in Toledo.

Detroit casino operators won't talk in detail about where their customers live, so it's not clear how much of the $1.3 billion in revenues reported at Detroit's three casinos each year since 2006 comes from Ohio residents.

But Jake Miklojcik, a casino analyst and president of Lansing-based Michigan Consultants who is often used as a resource by Detroit's casino operators, said he has heard out-of-state gamblers -- primarily from Ohio and Ontario -- represent as much as 20% to 30% of the clientele who sign up for Detroit casino player loyalty cards.

That Detroit’s self-interested casinos now spend their efforts as Miklojcik explains, "fighting over the same patron, money Detroit is going to get anyway," may create even greater exposure for the Detroit gambling halls. "That fight over that person," Miklojcik explains, " is a zero-sum game for the industry as a whole."

Penn National is the nation's third largest gambling enterprise with vast marketing expertise and experience. Their newest casino will open with amenities including a top-notch steakhouse, live entertainment seven days a week, and plentiful parking -- nearly 2,900 spaces.  Penn National understands the importance of partnering with hotels in downtown Toledo and in nearby suburbs to offer entertainment packages with destinations such as the Huntington Center to lure visitors.  The company plans to market “over the border” in southeast Michigan as well, including billboards along I-75 and U.S.-23.

The Toledo casino will be the first of four casinos to open in Ohio since voters approved one for each of the State’s four biggest cities. Penn National will operate all four venues.  Read more

New Hollywood Casino Toledo just 1-hour for downtown Detroit

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