Indiana Town Finds New Revenue ‘Stream’

Flagging revenues from the Horseshoe Hammond Casino in Indiana has the city looking beyond gaming for new revenues: water. Hammond officials have hatched a plan to sell cut-rate water services to make up the budget deficit.

The city of Hammond, Indiana is planning to sell water from Lake Michigan to offset revenue shortfalls from the community’s main employer, the Horseshoe Hammond Casino.

Hammond plans to sell water to other towns in the vicinity at cheaper rates than they could find from Chicago utility companies. “This is a windfall for us,” said Mayor Tom McDermott. “Water is getting more expensive. Times may be tough right now, but the future is very bright.”

The Horseshoe opened in 1996 and became Hammond’s primary employer after local steel mills closed. The Caesars Entertainment property has almost 3,000 slot machines and employs more than 2,000 people.

According to Bloomberg News, casino revenues will total about $34.5 million this year, down from a high of about $41.2 million in 2009.