Ohio’s Gambling Market Sets a Yearly Record, and the Year’s Not Even Over

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Ohio’s casinos, racinos and bingo halls have broken the record for the entire year with $2.11 billion in gambling revenue. This is $120 million more than the 2019 record, according to Tuesday’s report from the Ohio Casino Control and Lottery Commissions.

Ohio Gaming Has a Great Year

2020 was a year of shutdowns and curfews. Still, the casinos and racinos generated $1.44 billion in revenue in 2020.

The JACK Cleveland Casino, formerly Horseshoe Cleveland, opened in May 2012. This was the first time that casinos were allowed to be established in the state. Cincinnati, Toledo and Columbus added casinos. In June 2012, racetracks opened racinos. Scioto Downs was the first.

Gambling revenue has increased each year since then, except in 2020. According to a cleveland.com analysis, $430 million in gambling revenue was collected throughout the state in 2012.

The three gambling establishments in the Cleveland-Akron area – JACK Cleveland Casino, JACK Thistledown Racino and MGM Northfield Park – all saw gains in November compared to November 2020.

MGM Northfield Park’s revenue increased to $21.3 million from $15.6 million last November. JACK Cleveland Casino was worth $21 million, an increase from the previous $14.5 million. JACK Thistledown Racino was worth $14.3 million compared to the earlier $11.3-million mark.

Governor Mike DeWine issued an overnight curfew on November 19 of last year. This closed down operations that are normally open 24 hours a day. They were back in full operation by mid-February. Also, the facilities were closed entirely from mid-March to mid-June 2020.

More Improvement Coming

Despite the record-setting year, November was a little slower than October for Ohio gaming.  For November, the revenue from 11 casinos and racinos in the state was $178 million. This is 7.2% less than the $192.7 million in October at these brick-and-mortar properties.

Hard Rock Cincinnati was the only casino that saw an increase in its revenue month-over-month. It took in $19.41 million in November, up from October’s $19.3million.

The Ohio casinos’ total slot handle or coin in was $682.6 million, a decrease of more than $45 million compared to October’s $728.4 million.

The only piece of the Ohio gaming puzzle still missing is sports betting. This could be coming, with some lawmakers optimistic about its approval before the end of the year. Should that happen, sports betting licenses could be issued early in 2022.

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