HAMMOND, Ind. (STMW) — Northwest Indiana’s five casinos saw a collective drop in revenue in March compared with the same month last year, marking their fourth month in a row with a year-over-year decline.

On the positive side, the percent of the decline has gotten smaller with each month.

The five casinos took in a total of $95.3 million last month, an 8.9 percent drop from the $104.3 million in revenue reported in March 2013, according to the monthly report issued Tuesday by the Indiana Gaming Commission.

“On the surface, it looks like a disappointing month. But when you look at the trend over the last four months, we’re closing the gap,” Dan Nita, senior vice president and general manager of Horseshoe Hammond, said. “We’re chipping away at the shortfall we’ve experienced.”

He said December’s revenue was down 18 percent from December 2012, January’s was down 17 percent year-over-year and February’s revenue slid 13 percent from a year before.

“If this trend continues, I’ll feel better about the coming months,” Nita said.

Comparatively, Illinois casinos in the Chicago area were down about 12 percent collectively, he said.

Nita continued to blame a combination of bad weather and the weak economy for the declining revenue at the Northwest Indiana casinos.

The commission’s report says Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City had the smallest percentage decline at 3 percent, while Majestic Star II in Gary had the largest at 16.4 percent.

Ameristar Casino in East Chicago took in $20.1 million in revenue last month compared with $22.8 million the previous March; Blue Chip $15 million compared with $15.6 million, Horseshoe Hammond $43.3 million compared with $47.4 million, Majestic Star I in Gary saw $9.8 million in revenue compared with $10.4 million and Majestic Star II took in $6.8 million compared with $8.1 million in March 2013.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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