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Casino Manager Fears Vegas-Style Competition

May 17, 2012, 10:07 PM by Hailey Higgins

Casino Manager Fears Vegas-Style Competition

A general manager of several Sioux Falls video lottery casinos says the additional competition of a possible Las Vegas-style casino could hurt an already struggling business.

According to the South Dakota Lottery, the net machine income of video lotteries dropped nearly 13 percent or $28.4 million between 2009 and 2011.

In Sioux Falls, revenue plunged 20 percent or $11.7 million during that same time.

"We expected that decrease," Rob Horrocks said.

Horrocks is the general manager for seven Sioux Falls bars and casinos and says his overall video lottery revenue has decreased up to 25 percent since the state-wide smoking ban was enacted in November 2010.

He says the competition from the Grand Falls Casino took another 15 percent bite out of his video lottery profits.

"It dropped and we've been working hard to get it back. We are lucky for whatever reason, thanks to our customers, we are successful, but some of our competitors may be not so much. It is putting businesses out of business," Horrocks said.

Horrocks admits the possibility of a large casino is scary for existing businesses in Sioux Falls.

While plans are just in the talking phase, Horrocks hopes he and other owners have a seat at the table.

"I don't think letting a tribal casino in the city is the best resolution," Horrocks said.

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