Ohio Casinos Set Yearly Gaming Revenue Record With Month Remaining

Posted on: December 9, 2021, 08:25h. 

Last updated on: December 9, 2021, 08:38h.

For Ohio casinos and racinos, December will simply be icing on the cake, as the Buckeye State gaming industry has already broken its all-time revenue record with a month to go.

Ohio casinos GGR MGM Northfield Park
Leo the Lion stands guard outside MGM Northfield Park in Ohio. The state’s gaming industry, which includes casinos and racinos, has set a new yearly gaming revenue record with still a month to go. (Image: Cleveland Magazine)

Numbers from the Ohio Casino Control Commission and Ohio Lottery Commission reveal that 2021 has been the best year ever in terms of gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the state’s 11 casinos and racinos.

Through 11 months, GGR totals approximately $2.11 billion. That’s $120 million better than the industry’s previous record mark of $1.99 billion, set in 2019.

In 2009, Ohio lawmakers passed legislation that authorized four commercial casinos, with one each in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, and Toledo. The bill additionally allowed the state’s racetracks to incorporate slot machines into their facilities to become known as racinos.

Ohio’s first legal commercial gambling bet was wagered in May of 2012 when JACK Cleveland — then known as the Horseshoe — opened downtown. Today, the industry includes four casinos and seven racinos.

The industry is set to soon expand after lawmakers this week passed a sports betting bill. The legislation now heads to Gov. Mike DeWine’s (R) desk, where he’s expected to sign the statute into law.

Americans Spending Heavily

Pent-up demand continues to fuel legal US gaming markets across the nation. And there appears to be no immediate end in sight to Americans living a bit carefree in the wake of the pandemic.

A new survey from consumer financial services firm Bankrate found that nearly six in 10 US adults plan to treat themselves this holiday season. The average American adult spends around $2,900 on entertainment each year, claims personal finance website WalletHub.

Casino gambling is a form of entertainment, and Ohio’s 11 gaming venues are certainly benefiting from the rush of leisure activity spending.

Ohio GGR in 2021 through 11 months is a staggering $670 million better than what the casinos and racinos won in all of 2020. Of course, last year was greatly plagued with state-ordered shutdowns, curfews, and operational restrictions.

MGM Northfield Park is the top GGR generator in 2021, the MGM Resorts racino winning $251 million off of its guests. Hollywood Columbus is next at $237.9 million, and JACK Cleveland third at $235.7 million.

November Numbers

Each of the 11 casino and racino properties reported a year-over-year GGR gain in November.

The seven racinos saw GGR collectively climb from $73.9 million in November 2020 to $100.7 million last month — a 36 percent jump. Casino revenue surged 31 percent from $59.5 million to $78.1 million.

In terms of payout rates, which are calculated from the money wagered against the money kept by each casino’s terminals, gamblers fared best at JACK Cleveland. There the slots paid out 92.8 percent of the time. The worst payout was experienced at the state’s smallest gaming venue in terms of GGR — Belterra Park — which paid out just 89.8 percent.

Ohio gaming law mandates that slot machines pay out at a rate of at least 85 percent.