Ohio Casinos Hit Monthly Revenue Record & Racinos Rebound

Ohio Casinos Hit Monthly Revenue Record & Racinos Rebound
By Jim Tomlin

Ohio’s four casinos set a record for revenue in July, raking in more than $86 million as they rebounded in a big way from coronavirus-related closures.

The seven racinos in the Buckeye state also had a great rebound in July, pulling in more than $95 million in revenue and nearly $1 billion in handle.

Together, the 11 facilities combined for more than $181 million in revenue, one of the best months in the state’s eight-year history of legal on-site gaming.

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The Ohio Casino Control Commission reported its numbers for July, the first full month back since the coronavirus pandemic forced the state’s four casinos to close in mid March. The casinos — Hollywood Toledo, Jack Cleveland, Hollywood Columbus and Hard Rock Cincinnati (in the midst of a rebrand from Jack Cincinnati) — reopened June 18.

In July, those four combined for $86,047,151 in total revenue (table games and slots), beating a record that had stood for more than seven years. In March 2013, the month Cincinnati’s casino opened, the state pulled in $84,287,426 in revenue.

The $33.3 million in revenue at Hollywood Toledo in July is the biggest monthly total ever for an Ohio casino, the Dayton Daily News reported. According to that report, Ohio Casino Control Commission spokeswoman Jessica Franks said that Detroit’s casino closures likely contributed to Toledo’s record numbers. Detroit’s three commercial casinos just reopened last week; the city is about a 90-minute drive from Toledo but Toledo is very close to the Michigan border so people in southern Michigan might well have decided to gamble in Toledo if they couldn’t do so in Detroit.

There were hints that Ohio casinos could have a stellar July even when their June numbers came in. They only had a partial month to work with but, even at reduced capacity thanks to new social distancing norms, the per-day average handle was on par with the full months before COVID-19 struck.

Racinos Near Record Revenue, Handle

Ohio’s seven racinos did not quite reach record levels in handle or revenue, but they were not far off either, according to the monthly report from the Ohio Lottery. Belterra Park (Cincinnati), Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs (Columbus), MGM Northfield, Hollywood Dayton, Hollywood Mahoning Valley (Youngstown), Jack Thistledown (Cleveland) and Miami Valley Gaming (Lebanon) combined for $984,703,467 in Video Lottery Terminal handle and $95,020,535 in VLT net win.

Since beginning operations in June 2012, the state’s racinos have combined to surpass $1 billion in handle 10 times, with six of those months coming in the just-concluded 2019-20 fiscal year. The record for net win is $103.1 million in March 2019; the July 2020 net win was fifth-best all time.

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Jim Tomlin has more than 30 years of experience in sports journalism as an editor and writer. He has covered pro and college sports from football, baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, motorsports and more for publications such as the Tampa Bay Times, SaturdayDownSouth.com, SaturdayTradition.com and FanRag Sports. He now lends his expertise to TopUSCasinos.com, among other duties.

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