Original Research Article
The riverboat casino is the most rapidly expanding segment of the gaming industry. Six states have already legalized riverboat/dockside gaming, and it is currently under review in at least 13 other states. The explosion of this gaming market is fueled by a combination of demand and supply side forces. Gaming, as a form of entertainment, is growing in popularity and acceptance. States experiencing hard economic times view riverboat gaming as a means to generate both non-tax receipts and tourism. Gaming companies seek to profit from this emerging market that has an apparently high demand and, initially, little competition. Competition, however, must continue at a level that allows a new entrant to gain a profitable share of the market. As competition in riverboat gaming continues to escalate, site selection will become an increasingly important factor in predicting the future success or failure of an operation. This paper looks at locational issues in Iowa and Illinois based on market and competitive forces. A regression model, using financial data from the respective state's gaming boards and demographic data from SCAN/US, was developed to relate the gross win and win per square foot (dependent variables) to the independent variable of a population radius. The results were compared to a survey of gaming executives operating in the same states.