Ohio Casinos Continue Lackluster Performance

Ohio Casinos Continue Lackluster PerformanceThe Midwestern state of Ohio has only had a casino industry since 2012, with initial estimates at the time predicting Ohio’s four casinos would generate around $1.9 billion a year in revenue, with 33% of that total, equal to $643 million, then going towards state taxes.
A few year on, and Ohio’s casinos have fallen well short of those optimistic revenue projections with Gov. John Kasich’s finance staff now revising the state’s budget downwards to $940 million in taxable gross casino revenue for the fiscal year ending June 2014. In addition to revealing a worrying trend in Ohio’s gambling market, the lower revenues are also a major blow to Ohio’s schools, counties and cities, all of which were expecting state cuts in local-government funding to be offset by the casinos money.
In fact, all of the casino’ revenues are significantly below levels forecasts by a Spectrum study of Ohio’s gambling industry, with Columbus’ Hollywood Casino now expected to generate just $215 million this year, down from the $381.7 million anticipated by Spectrum. In addition, Penn National’s Toledo casino is expected to produce $190 million in revenue (spectrum: $235m), and Cleveland’s Horseshoe Casino around $245m (spectrum: $280m), although The Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati, which opened its doors for the first time in March, is actually exceeding predictions for expected revenue.
Being blamed for Ohio’s casino revenue decline is a slow and painful economic recovery in the US, as well as increasing competition from nearby states. As Steve Gallaway, principal of Gaming Market Advisors, noted a few months ago: “Nobody expected the economy to still be lagging like this. They will come back, but instead of one to two years, it may be five to 10 years before Ohio realizes the positive impact of gambling.”


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