Ohio Casinos Generate $72m In MayJune 10, 2013 11:14 am
According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the Midwestern state’s four casinos generated $72.2 million in revenue during May, a figure largely flat compared to April’s total. Ohio only embraced casino gambling last year and May’s result was greeted with disappointment as it was well below predicted levels and could lead to the state falling up to $360 million short of its annual gambling revenue.
Commenting on May’s results, Steve Gallaway from Gaming Market Advisors said: “It’s been a rough year across the board.. [the state is] seeing a much longer ramp up than was originally anticipated.”
Seeing the best growth out of the state’s four casinos was Ohio’s newest casino the Horeshoe Casino Cincinnati, up 10.1% to $19.62m compared to the previous month. Next, The Horeshoe Casino Cleveland saw only a slight 0.8% improvement in revenue to $20.05m, while posting declines in revenue was the Hollywood Casino Toledo down 3.8% to $15.76m; and the Hollywood Casino Columbus down 7.4% to $16.74m.
In addition to its four casinos, Ohio also has seven racetracks which, too, are running below the $1.2 billion in annual gambling revenue predicted by the governor’s study. At the heart of the problem would seem to be that most of the racetracks are opening up with around 1,600 video lottery machines each, well below the 2,500 the state had hoped for when it made its original projections. Ohio charges its gambling venues a 33% tax rate, with the money then distributed throughout its 88 counties. At the present rate, Ohio will collect around $550m in taxes by the end of the year, and as University of Nevada economist Mark Nichols explains:
“Racinos are either playing it safe or they don’t think Ohio’s as large a market as initially thought. That means fewer tax dollars.”