Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010 | 10:53 a.m.
Las Vegas-based casino operator Ameristar Casinos swung to a loss during the second quarter of 2010, primarily due to a permanent bridge closure that limited access to its East Chicago property and new competition in the St. Louis market.
The casino operator said Wednesday its net loss totaled $24.9 million, or 43 cents per share, compared with a profit of $14.3 million, or 25 cents per share last year.
Net revenue for the second quarter decreased 5.1 percent, from $308.9 million in the prior year to $293 million in the current year.
The boost in revenue was largely helped by increases at Ameristar’s Black Hawk, Colo., resort. The company said regulatory changes that became effective in the third quarter of 2009 and the hotel opening at Ameristar Black Hawk significantly contributed to the property’s 82 percent increase in revenue.
Near Ameristar’s East Chicago casino, the Indiana Department of Transportation decided to permanently close a bridge on Dec. 28 after it had to be temporarily closed Nov. 13 due to safety concerns.
Company officials said the closure was a factor in declines of 26 percent and 63 percent in the property’s net revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, respectively, compared to the prior-year quarter.
To date, the bridge closure has had a larger-than-expected effect on Ameristar East Chicago's financial performance, the company said in its report.
At Ameristar St. Charles, net revenue declined 12 percent and EBITDA fell 14 percent because of a new competitor entering the marketing in March, but the effect was less than the company originally expected, Ameristar said.
Ameristar owns eight casinos in Jackpot, Nev., Indiana, Colorado, Missouri, Iowa and Mississippi.