Ohio Gaming Revenue Down Nearly 11% in January

Posted on: March 4, 2024, 08:43h. 

Last updated on: March 4, 2024, 11:16h.

Ohio gaming revenue was down nearly 11% to begin the new year. The Buckeye State’s casino win woes in January shadowed a nationwide trend suggesting players could be reining in their spending.

Ohio gaming revenue Jack Cleveland
Jack Cleveland was the top-grossing casino in Ohio in January 2024. Ohio gaming revenue was down almost 11% to begin the new year. (Image: Destination Cleveland)

Ohio is home to seven racinos that offer video lottery terminals (VLTs) and four casinos that offer slot machines and live dealer table games. Both racinos and casinos offer on-site sports betting. Online sportsbooks additionally operate in the state.

The Ohio Lottery, which regulates the racinos and tallies each property’s gross gaming revenue (GGR), reported that January VLT venues totaled $100.8 million. The seven racinos collectively operated 10,285 video lottery machines during the month.

The $100.8 million won by the VLTs represented a 9% decline from January 2023, when the properties won $110.8 million.

Ohio’s four casinos, JACK Cleveland, Hollywood Columbus, Hard Rock Cincinnati, and Hollywood Toledo, reported GGR of $75.2 million. Their 6,225 slots and 352 tables won about 13% less, or $10.9 million, than they did in January 2023.

Combined, Ohio’s gaming win in January totaled $176.1 million, a nearly 11% year-over-year nosedive.

JACK Cleveland was the top-grossing casino with GGR of $21.1 million, an 8% decline. MGM Northfield Park was the top VLT venue with GGR of $22.2 million, a 9% decline.

Sports Betting Down

Besides big losses at the state’s casinos and racinos, January 2024 wasn’t kind to sportsbooks.

Oddsmakers saw their net win crash from almost $210.5 million in January 2023 to $113.2 million in January 2024, a 46% plummet. Bettors risked substantially less, from more than $1.11 billion in January 2023 to $810.4 million. Online books accounted for almost all of the action at $792 million.

Sportsbooks were recently told by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, which oversees the four casinos and sports betting at casinos, racinos, and online, to remove player props involving college student-athletes. The NCAA and Gov. Mike DeWine (R) requested the change on claims that props based on a college player’s performance puts student-athletes at heightened risk. The concerns center on athletes being verbally abused on social media and harassed and threatened at games.

The OCCC said college player props accounted for 1.5% of the money bet on sports last year.

Casino Cooldown

Last year was another record-breaker for the U.S. commercial gaming industry. Nontribal casinos, sportsbooks, and iGaming sites won $66.5 billion – a 10% year-over-year increase.

This year, however, didn’t begin as industry stakeholders had hoped. January brick-and-mortar revenue declines were felt in a slew of states, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Win on the Las Vegas Strip was also down.

Overall gaming spending nationwide remains robust, as revenue from online operations has offset in-person losses.

But brick-and-mortar customers are more valuable to casinos than an iGaming or online sports bettor. They typically make food and beverage purchases, sometimes stay overnight, shop, take in a show, or receive a massage.

iGaming overhead is much smaller than running a brick-and-mortar casino. But a considerable portion of those gaming revenues are shared with third-party operators. Online revenues are often taxed significantly higher than in-person win.