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Windsor casino revenues hurt by passport restrictions

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November 30, 2009

Caesars Casino Windsor had a 12 percent decrease in revenue over the three months following passport restrictions at the United States-Canada border.

Total revenue for July, August and September was $71 million compared to $80.8 during the same period in 2008. Revenue also was down 4 percent from the first quarter 2009 revenue of $74 million. These are figures released today by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.

The number of visitors was down 6.6 percent to an average of 11,300 daily in the second quarter, compared to 12,600 during the same period in 2008.

The decrease is attributed in part to the June 1 policy requiring a U.S. passport for return entry to the U.S. from Canada according to Holly Ward, director of communications for Caesars Casino Windsor.

"We have noticed a softening after the passport restrictions went into effect," she said. "But we can't rule out the exchange rate, which has both currencies almost at par right now and the local economy is also a factor."

Data from the Public Border Operators Association shows the total border crossings at the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel was down 17.9 percent to 638,895 in June, and down 14.2 percent to 689,080 in July, compared to the same months in 2008.

At the same time revenue for all three Detroit casinos dropped by .2 percent in July, 5.4 percent in August, and 2.4 percent in September over the same months in 2008. This is according to figures released by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

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