There is more evidence that the US economy is on the rebound following a disastrous year caused by COVID-19. Several states have already reported significant improvements with their gambling markets and Ohio is proving that the gains are more than just a short-term trend. The state’s 11 casinos and racinos reported significant revenue improvements for March and April and have now added May to the list as they combined for revenue of $209 million for the month.
Ohio’s Gambling Market Back In Business
The $209 million represents the casino take after paying out winnings and, while not the best results seen this year, the figure was enough to make last month the best May on record in the state. It also puts May among the top three months on record, with this past March and April taking the other two spots. March had gambling revenue of $215.8 million and April beat that mark with its $217.1 million. Compared to May 2019, prior to the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic last year, last month’s results are 23.5% better.
Several factors are contributing to the continued improvements. The restrictions put in place to try to prevent COVID-19 from spreading have been lifted over the past couple of months, making it easier for gamblers to hit the casino floors. The stimulus packages offered by the government have helped, as well, giving individuals access to additional funds, some of which made it into casinos. The transition from spring to summer is traditionally a good time for casinos, as well, and the next couple of months should continue to bring significant improvements.
Racinos Enjoy Biggest Gain
Ohio has seven racinos and four casinos, and the racinos saw the biggest improvement. Despite being limited to just video lottery terminals, they combined for revenue of $122.4 million last month. This was 27.6% higher than the $95.9 million they reported two years earlier. The casinos, located in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, added 18.2% to their May 2019 performance, increasing from $73.5 million to $86.8 million between the two months.
The biggest overall improvement, in comparing May 2019 with last month, was seen by the JACK Thistledown Racino. It added 50.7% to its revenue as it reported $19.1 million last month. JACK Cleveland Casino fared well, also, adding 25.1% as its revenue closed at $22.5 million. The MGM Northfield Park only saw a modest uptick in activity, adding 14.4% with its $25-million month.
The state should be happy with the performance, also. The gambling tax structure gives it around one-third of the revenue, which means it will take in around $70 million. Much of that money is already earmarked for important programs, but perhaps the government should figure out how to allocate a small portion of it to help advance efforts to legalize sports gambling by the fall.