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LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Boyd Gaming Corp. and Station Casinos have been competing for decades over each other's slice of the Las Vegas locals market.
That competition may expand into the Midwest.
Station Casinos is working the Gun Lake Tribe of the Potawatomi Indians to build and operate a casino in Wayland Township, Mich., which a Gary, Ind., newspaper speculated could poach customers from Boyd Gaming's Blue Chip riverboat casino, 147 miles away in Michigan City, Ind.
"Certainly there is room in the Midwest market for more gaming. I don't see this new casino as either a concern or a threat," Boyd Gaming spokesman Rob Meyne told the Gary Post-Tribune.
Blue Chip revenues have been hurt by competition from the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Mich., which was opened in August 2007 by the Pokagon Tribe of the Potawatomi Indians.
Blue Chip brought in $27 million from 308,400 customers in July 2007, according to the Indiana Gaming Commission's monthly reports. In July 2009, Blue Chip reported $17.2 million in revenues from 236,000 customers.
Boyd Gaming spent $130 million last year to expand Blue Chip, adding a new casino boat, a hotel and spa.
Gun Lake tribe spokesman James Nye didn't view Blue Chip as the new casino's primary competition. He said Gun Lake said its primary market would be from the cities of Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.
Nye said the Four Winds and an Indian casino in Battle Creek, Mich., were going to be Gun Lake's primary competition.
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