Ohio Casinos and Racinos Set Another Monthly Gaming Revenue Record

Posted on: May 10, 2021, 12:03h. 

Last updated on: May 10, 2021, 01:49h.

A pandemic is still going on. But for Ohio casinos and racinos, times have never been better.

Ohio casino racino gross gaming revenue
The Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway racino floor is seen last summer. Ohio’s casinos and racinos won more money from gamblers in April 2021 than ever before. (Image: Dayton Daily News)

For the second month in a row, the 11 gaming properties collectively posted their all-time best month in terms of gross gaming revenue (GGR).

April gaming win totaled $217.1 million. That is a $1.2 million increase on the previous high of $215.9 million, set in March.

Ohio residents have enjoyed access to legal casinos for the past nine years. Prior to April 2021, the best April on record came in 2018, when the casinos and racinos won $162 million. April 2021 is a 35.5 percent improvement on April 2019, when the state gaming properties won $160.2 million. 

April Sunshine

Ohio’s four commercial casinos — Jack Cleveland, Hollywood Columbus, Hard Rock Cincinnati, and Hollywood Toledo — reported slot GGR of $65.7 million last month. Tables games generated wins of $26.9 million.

Data from the Ohio Casino Control Commission reveals that the four casinos shared a relatively equal market share in April. Hollywood Columbus narrowly led the way at $24.7 million, Jack Cleveland was next at $24 million, Hollywood Toledo third at $22.5 million, and Hard Rock fourth at $22.2 million  

The state’s seven racinos only offer video gaming lottery (VGT) terminals and are regulated by the Ohio Lottery. These reported GGR of $124.5 million. That’s up a staggering 39 percent from April 2019, when the venues won $89.6 million. 

MGM Northfield Park took the VGT revenue honors by winning $24.5 million of gamblers’ bets. Scioto Downs was next at $21.7 million, and Jack Thistledown third at $19.5 million. 

The jump in Ohio casino and racino revenue follows the ending of state-ordered nightly curfews and another round of economic stimulus checks being distributed to most Americans from the federal government. 

Ohio’s casinos are not the only gaming market surging back to life in 2021. Maryland and Pennsylvania both reported record GGR numbers in March. Maryland fared well again in April by posting its third all-time monthly GGR performance. Pennsylvania has yet to release its casino numbers for April.

Loosening Restrictions, Sports Betting

Ohio casinos and racinos continue to be limited to operating at no more than 50 percent of their fire code capacity. But the large venues have not reported having to turn away guests, and those who have arrived are wagering big, as made evident by the April GGR report. 

With pent-up demand and stimulus fueling the gaming recovery, Ohio casinos and racinos are hoping to receive a new concession that will additionally spur new visitors to their properties. Late last week, Republican lawmakers unveiled a plan to bring regulated sports betting to the state. 

The Senate bill would authorize as many as 40 sportsbook licenses. Half would be reserved for the casinos and racinos, which could then partner with online mobile betting partners. 

The Ohio Senate is set to adjourn for the summer on June 29. It isn’t scheduled to reconvene until September 8.