Ohio Casinos Pass $160 Million in July Revenue, But MGM Northfield Park Struggles

Posted on: August 8, 2019, 10:50h. 

Last updated on: August 8, 2019, 02:48h.

Casinos and racinos in Ohio combined for $162.2 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR) last month, a 2.3 percent year-over-year increase even as MGM Northfield Park posted another monthly decline.

Players at the slot area of Hollywood Columbus, a contributor to Ohio’s rising gaming revenue. (Image: Business Journals)

JACK Entertainment’s JACK Thistledown Racino in Randall and the JACK Casino in Cleveland were among the big drivers of the state’s increased gaming receipts last month. Revenue at Thistledown was up 15.3 percent to $12.3 million on a year-over-year basis while JACK Cleveland’s top line increased 7.3 percent to $17.1 million, according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC).

JACK Cleveland and JACK Cincinnati are two of the four Ohio casinos that do not feature racetracks. The other two are the Hollywood properties, operated by Penn National Gaming, in Columbus and Toledo.

Last month, Hollywood Columbus saw GGR rise to $19.4 million from $18.9 million a year earlier while Hollywood Toledo posted top-line growth of $400,000 to $17.2 million.

The modest uptick in Ohio’s July GGR comes on the heels of a report issued by the Ohio Lottery Commission a month ago noting that the state’s seven casinos and racinos combined for $1.05 billion in revenue for the fiscal year ending June 30.

MGM Struggles

MGM Northfield Park experienced a 5.8 percent drop in July revenue to $21.2 million. That venue was acquired by MGM Growth Properties, the real estate investment trust (REIT) spun off from MGM Resorts, last year for $1 billion and took on the MGM brand in April.

“Northfield Park revenue has been down over the same month a year earlier in three of the four months since the name switchover,” Cleveland.com reported.

When MGM Resorts announced second-quarter results last month, revenue at its regional properties – the US casinos it operates outside of Las Vegas – surged by 29 percent, or $202 million, to $911 million, and Northfield Park was highlighted as one of the drivers of that growth.

News of Northfield Park’s July revenue dip comes just weeks after MGM Springfield, the company’s Massachusetts property, posted its second-worst revenue month on record since opening in August 2018.

While July was soft for Northfield Park, the racino is the year-to-date leader among Ohio gaming properties with revenue of $148.4 million, according to the OCCC. At $135 million, Hollywood Casino Columbus is the only other Ohio casino with year-to-date revenue north of $130 million as of July 31.

Close To Sports Betting

Ohio gaming venues could get another revenue jolt if policymakers in the Buckeye State approve sports betting. Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) recently threw his support behind a proposal that calls for sports wagering there to be regulated by the OCCC.

The state is unlikely to have sports betting operational this year, but there’s a chance politicians can push related legislation forward in September.

There is some impetus for that to happen because of the four the states that border Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia already have sports betting up and running, and sportsbooks are expected to open in Indiana next month.

Some gaming companies are already positioned for sports betting to go live in the Buckeye State. Last week, Penn National announced a deal with DraftKings where the two companies will partner in several states, including Ohio.