ride higher after 2005
Reported by The Kansas City Star
- Revenues up again in the area, while new mark is set statewide.
Gamblers left $688.5 million at Kansas Citys four riverboats
in 2005. The 1.7 percent increase from 2004 lifted the local
casino industry to its 11th consecutive year of growth.
Missouris 11 casinos also set records, surpassing $1.5
billion for the first time. Combined revenues of $1,526,806,799
represented a modest bump of 3.6 percent from 2004.
numbers are staggering, said Troy Stremming, a vice president
with Ameristar Casinos and president of the Missouri Riverboat
Gaming Association trade group.
a 10- to 11-year period, people just continue to further enjoy
gaming as a form of entertainment. Thats something were
extremely proud of.
and Kansas lotteries also were up in 2005, 5 percent and 3.8
percent, respectively. The
Woodlands pari-mutuel race track in Wyandotte County was
down sharply 6.3 percent.
and Missouris share of lottery profits are earmarked mostly
for public education. That combined 2005 figure statewide for
the first time is expected to exceed half a billion dollars
expansion of casino gambling in Missouri recently brought a
cry from the states lone anti-gambling citizens lobby.
Directors of St. Louis-based Casino Watch last month urged that
the number of slot machines in the state be capped at their
present level, which it contends would blunt their impact on
in recent weeks before two state panels that deal with state
gambling policy, Casino Watch chairman Mark Andrews noted that
Missouris 17,875 slots account for around 87 percent of
gambling is alive and well in Missouri, he said. It
is time for Missouri to institute sound restrictions on casinos,
which will lessen the likelihood of addiction.
idea to cap the number of slots was floated last year in Jefferson
City but failed to gain traction.
the casinos business growth is being bought with expensive
brick-and-mortar expansion of nongambling attractions such as
restaurants and nightclubs.
something else were very proud of, added Stremming,
that 60 percent of profits have been invested back into
the properties. When you continue to reinvest in your investment,
you will continue to grow the market.
North Kansas City Casino and Hotel will close out a nearly
two-year, $126 million makeover that featured the VooDoo Lounge
an emerging Harrahs franchise. It also opened a
192-room hotel addition, five new restaurants and the Twist
lounge, a mini-nightclub on the casino floor.
of Capri refurbished its buffet area last year and opened
its Pulse bar on the casino floor last month to complement a
stage added earlier that has injected live music into the gambling
Riverside Casino is in the midst of a $86.5 million upgrade
that includes a recently opened parking garage and a more convenient
casino entrance. Work continues on a 250-room hotel that will
give the casinos existing meeting and ballroom facilities
a lodging component to attract more out-of-town business.
Kansas City Casino and Hotel in 2005 poured around $36 million
into its property in a facelift of several indoor streetscape
attractions and the casinos 184 hotel rooms. The company
also is considering a hotel expansion.
Ameristar and Argosy were the years winners, with both
posting property record revenues.
becomes the first casino in Kansas City to surpass the quarter-billion
dollar annual revenue mark, hitting $252.8 million for the year
and a market record 36.7 percent annual market share.
out the year with a property record $149.2 million won from
gamblers along with record turnstile admissions of 4.8 million.
$191.7 million and 27.8 percent market share for 2005 marked
its second consecutive year failing to surpass its all-time
high of $208.9 million in 2003. Harrahs,
however is rebounding thanks to its lineup of new attractions.
December market share of 30 percent was its best showing since
December 2003. That month Argosy opened its $105 million casino
showplace that has taken a bite out of competitors bottom
lines ever since.
Isle of Capri faded noticeably in 2005, posting revenues
of $94.8 million and a 13.7 percent market share. That was its
weakest market share showing ever, save 2000, when large sections
of the casino floor were closed the better part of four months
during a remodeling.
manager Mike Tamburelli knows his casino must play catch-up.
want to do something in Kansas City, he said in a telephone
have long discussed adding a hotel to the property, and other
new amenity notions have been floated in recent months.
Kansas Citys four casinos tallied revenues of $59.1 million,
up 2.8 percent from 2004 and the markets fourth best month
to the Missouri Gaming Commissions latest monthly financial
report, the average gambler in Kansas City lost $60.33 during
a typical three-hour casino visit.
and Kansas state lotteries had a growth year in 2005, with ticket
sales up locally and statewide.
Lottery revenues were up 5 percent. That was well off the pace
of the last three years, which saw annual growth of 15 percent,
21 percent and 12 percent.
state lottery officials have issued warnings that lawmakers
deep cuts in the agencys advertising budget would erode
sales. Four years ago the agencys ad budget was $8.1 million.
This year lottery officials scrimped elsewhere to assemble a
$2.1 million ad budget.
a trend line and it is flattening out, said lottery executive
director Larry Jansen. Unless lawmakers restore some of the
lost funding to reinvigorate the marketing effort, we
may be leaving money on the table, he said.
Lottery managed modest growth last year 3.8 percent to
$228.8 million in statewide sales following a rare down year
months the annual debate in Kansas over expanded gambling will
take on an even higher profile as lawmakers consider a court-ordered
demand for an estimated $400 million in new education funding.
again expected to be on the table include new state-taxed tribal-owned
casinos, casinos owned by the state outright, and permitting
the states privately owned racetracks to add slot parlors.
all on the table, said Matt All, counsel to Gov. Kathleen
no decision had been made to advance a compact with two Kansas
tribes that had proposed a casino resort complex in Wyandotte
County near Kansas Speedway.
commitment Sebelius is making at this point, he said, is any
plan the governor would support would have to include slots
at tracks. That always been a baseline part of her proposal.
Weve got to support the pari-mutuel industry.
A dark cloud
hung over The
Woodlands in 2005. The 16-year old pari-mutuel dog- and
horse-racing track in western Wyandotte County posted its second
consecutive down year in 2005 as total wagers, or handle,
slipped 6.3 percent, to $66.5 million.
down the tracks pretax gross revenues by almost $1 million,
to $13.9 million. That slippage came despite a modest 1.5 percent
increase in estimated attendance, to 321,213 for the year.
manager Jim Gartland blamed part of the shortfall on the tracks
forced two-week closing last spring during an outbreak of a
canine flu bug that sidelined many of the tracks kenneled
also noted that the track too often in 2005 ran less than a
full card of 15 daily dog races. The track has facilities for
17 kennels to provide greyhounds, but only 13 are occupied
dont want to cut the up the pie too much, he said
of the tracks prize purses. We want to get these
guys some money, so we choose not to bring another kennel in.
kind of a fine balance. Everybody is struggling to make money.
gambling report for year-end 2005
the metropolitan area gambling summary for the 2005 calendar
year. All revenue figures represent estimated amounts lost by
gamblers. Casino revenues reflect pretax operating income from
all wagers after all winners have been paid. Missouri Lottery
revenues are based on actual sales in Jackson, Clay and Platte
counties, minus average 59 percent monthly payouts to players
as winnings. Kansas Lottery revenue reflects sales in Johnson,
Wyandotte, Leavenworth and Miami counties, and are based on
a 53 percent average payout rate to players. The
Woodlands revenue is an estimate based on the pretax handle,
or total bets made, minus the average 79 percent returned to
bettors as winnings.
For more information, visit the Missouri Gaming Commission Web
site at .us.