Ohio Gaming Industry Reports Monthly Gain, Casinos Win $164.3M in August

Posted on: September 10, 2019, 09:57h. 

Last updated on: September 10, 2019, 11:45h.

The Ohio gaming industry enjoyed a strong final full month of the summer, as the state’s casinos and racinos collectively won $164.3 million, a 4.2 percent gain on August 2018.

Ohio casino revenue GGR
Social gaming tables at JACK casinos in Ohio are helping fuel an increase in gaming win. (Image: JACK Cincinnati Casino)

The Buckeye State is home to four commercial casinos and seven racino venues where table games are not permitted. Data from the Ohio Casino Control Commission shows that the casinos won $71.4 million in August, and the Ohio Lottery reveals the racinos kept $92.9 million from their video lottery terminals (VLT).

Commercial casinos saw their gross gaming revenues (GGR) climb 1.6 percent, while the racinos fared even better at 6.3 percent.

Despite its GGR dropping 3.2 percent, MGM Northfield Park near Cleveland and its 2,300 VLTs led the way with $20.7 million in gaming win.

The four full-scale casinos followed: Hollywood Columbus ($19.1 million), JACK Cleveland ($18 million), Hollywood Toledo ($17.2 million), and JACK Cincinnati ($17.1 million). Only JACK Cincinnati reported a year-over-year monthly win decline.

Ohio Ownership Changes

Billionaire Dan Gilbert, the founder of Quicken Loans and JACK Entertainment, is finally home recovering from a stroke he suffered in May. The Cleveland Cavaliers owner is in the process of reducing his stake in the gaming industry.

In May, JACK closed on its $1 billion sale of the Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit to Penn National Gaming and Caesars Entertainment’s VICI Properties real estate investment trust. Gilbert’s gaming unit is additionally in the process of selling JACK Cincinnati, as well as Turfway Park, a parimutuel horse racing facility in northern Kentucky, to Hard Rock International for $780 million.

Once the latter deal is complete, JACK Entertainment will have just two remaining properties: JACK Cleveland and JACK Thistledown.

Year to date, commercial casino GGR is up 1.6 percent to $569.6 million. The Ohio Lottery’s 2020 fiscal year began in July, and through two months the racinos are off and running in strong fashion. VLT hold is at $184.8 million, a nearly five percent gain.

Sports Betting Update

Video lottery terminals have served as a lifeline to Ohio horsemen, as the slot-like devices have kept the state’s seven racino venues busy, and revenue has helped fund race purses. The racinos set a revenue record in the 2019 fiscal year by winning more than $1 billion.

Adding sports betting would only further grow the industry, so say the horsemen. Ohio is now surrounded by neighboring states that already have legal sports betting operational after the Supreme Court’s May 2018 decision to repeal the federal ban.

People in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Indiana are all able to make legal sports bets. In Ohio, legislation to form a Sports Gaming Advisory Board has been introduced, but not enacted.

“My goal is still to have the sports betting bill pass by the end of the year,” Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) told Casino.org earlier this year. He added that the legislation has bipartisan support.

The Ohio Legislature reconvenes this month, and is expected to take up the sports betting topic.