Ship to Shore: Indiana riverboat comes in to land

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Patrons of the Ameristar East Chicago riverboat casino will soon be able to enjoy gaming on dry land after operators of the premises received official approval to relocate its slots and tables to a dockside pavilion.


It is reported that Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment has won unanimous consent for its relocation proposal from the Indiana Gaming Commission and can in turn go ahead with a $5.8m renovation plan to accommodate the move.

Matt Schuffert, VP and general manager for the Ameristar East Chicago, told press: “We’re pretty excited about it. It’s going to create a new gaming experience in Northwest Indiana that folks haven’t experienced yet.

“By relocating high-limit slots and tables off of the boat onto land, that frees up space and we’ll add additional gaming product to that.”

The renovation plans will see the space, currently used for restaurants, offering 95 high-limit slots, 14 high-limit table games and all the affiliated installations and commodities required to foster a positive gaming environment.

The company is the first to take advantage of a 2015 law that allowed for permanently-moored riverboat casinos to relocate gaming operations onto adjacent dry land and will establish only the second landed gaming premises in the state.

“This is an initial step to see how our guests react to it,” commented Schuffert. “Obviously to bring the entire facility on land is a pretty large investment.

“And it’s still a very tough, competitive environment up in Chicagoland with Indiana also battling the video gaming terminals over in Illinois. So we think this is the right decision, the right capital investment for our property at this time.”


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