Ohio Casino Revenue Up 2% to $67.7M in November

Hard Rock Rocksino in Ohio

Ohio’s four casinos generated $67.7 million in November, marking a 2 percent improvement compared to the $66.4 million that was collected a year earlier. Meanwhile, the Buckeye State’s seven racinos posted a 6 percent jump in gambling revenue to $80.4 million during the month, according to the latest results released by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Ohio’s Casino Market

Table games are only available at the state’s casino operations, and in November they produced a combined $22.6 million, down slightly from the $22.7 million taken a year earlier. The casinos’ slot offering, on the other hand, saw its revenue increase to $45.1 million from $43.8 million in November 2017.

Leading the way in terms of revenue was Hollywood Columbus with $18.5 million (slots $5.1m, tables $13.4m), followed by JACK Cleveland Casino (slots $8.6m, tables $8.8m), JACK Cincinnati Casino (slots $10.2m, tables $6m), and finally Hollywood Toledo (slots $12.9m, tables $2.7m).

Ohio’s Racino Market

Ohio’s racino market has been the shining star of the state’s gambling industry, providing much of the growth recorded in recent times. The increasing popularity of these slots only operations was exemplified by six out of seven venues noting year-on-year growth in November. The only exception was Belterra Park in Hamilton which saw its business fall to $6.3 million from the $6.6 million collected last year.

Generating the highest revenue was the Hard Rock Rocksino, which was light years ahead of its nearest rival on $20.3 million, followed by Scioto Downs on $13.5 million, and Miami Valley Gaming on $12.5 million. Also taking more revenue than in November 2017 was JACK Thistledown Racino on $10 million, Hollywood Mahoning Valley ($9.1m), and Hollywood Dayton $8.8 million

Casinos Below Initial Estimates

Prior to Ohio embracing casino gambling in 2009, advocates put revenue estimates for four casinos at $1.9 billion before taxes. In May, 2012, the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland then became the first casino to open in the state. Over the past few years since all four casinos opened for business, however, their performance has fallen well short of initial forecasts:

2013: $821 million
2014: $809 million
2015: $812 million
2016: $798 million
2017: $819 million

Gov. John Kasich subsequently permitted video lottery terminals at seven venues across the state, with the first operation, Scioto Downs, opening in 2012. These operations have since grown to generate more than half the state’s overall gambling revenues, and have consistently produced growth since their launch.

While Ohio’s casino and racino market combined is closer to the state’s original gambling projections, local government coffers have been affected by the source of the income. That is because local governments receive around half of all casino tax proceeds, while racinos taxes are allocated directly to schools.

Ohio casino tax revenue fund are allocated in the following proportions: county fund (51%); schools (34%), host city (5%); Ohio State Racing Commission (3%), Casino Control Commission (3%); Law Enforcement Training (2%), and Problem Gaming & Addictions (2%).

Lucrative Industry For Ohio

Nevertheless, Ohio’s gambling industry is still a major contributor to state’s overall economic health. Last year, for instance, it employed around 20,000 jobs statewide, and had a total economic impact of $3.6 billion. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), the industry also funneled $594 million in taxes towards state coffers in 2017.

When Ohio legalized casino gambling in 2009, most of its neighboring states had already set up gambling industries, including Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. One of the platforms on which Ohio campaigned to have legislation pass was in order to keep jobs and money in the state. As can be seen from the above statistics, this has been achieved, and as Matthew Schuler, executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, commented recently:

“We do know that after the casinos opened, looking at the revenue reports from all of your surrounding states, that their (other states’) revenue did go down,” Schuler said. “That money was being repatriated to the state of Ohio. This does seem to be working well.”