There has been a lull in sports events which has caused all legalized sports betting states to experience a dip in revenue for April, so there hasn’t been much excitement. However, when looking to Ohio, and the casino and racino industry, the state gaming facilities were able to pull off their second consecutive revenue record this year.
The state of Ohio is home to 11 gaming facilities and casino gambling has been legal in the state since 2012. The latest results for the gross gaming revenue show that the 11 properties generated 1.2 million USD more than the total in March. The previous month’s figures show that the gross gaming revenue came in at 215.9 million USD and the latest total reported for April came in at 217.1 million USD. The total represents an all-time high riding the wave of the previous month’s record-breaker.
The last time Ohio broke a gross gaming revenue record in April was in 2018 when gaming facilities reported a total of 162 million USD. The 2021 results show that the state has experienced a 35.5% year-on-year increase in revenue. April 2019 was close to its previous year’s results with gaming generating 160.2 million USD in gross gaming revenue.
A further look into the figures shows that the four commercial casinos in Ohio shared market share figures that were relatively similar. The overall gross gaming revenue for casino table games came in at 26.9 million USD while slots generated more than double with a total of 65.7 million USD in April. The four commercial casinos in Ohio saw Hard Rock Cincinnati contributing 22.2 million USD, while Hollywood Toledo generated revenue of 22.5 million USD, Jack Cleveland took second place in the state bringing in 24 million USD. The casino to lead the way in Ohio, even though it was just slightly, was Hollywood Columbus contributing a total of 24.7 million USD.
The remainder of the state’s gross gaming revenue was generated by its seven racinos. These gaming facilities only offer their customers video game lottery (VGT) terminals. The total from this sector of the Ohio gaming industry generated gross gaming revenue of 124.5 million USD. The latest figure represents an increase of 39% compared to April 2019 when the revenue reported was 89.6 million USD. The top three contributors to the gaming revenue were Jack Thistledown with 19.5 million, Scioto Downs checking in at 21.7 million and in the first place was MGM Northfield Park generating 24.5 million USD.
The revenue increases over the past two months could be attributed to the removal of nightly curfews in the state. Additionally, many residents of the state have received stimulus checks from the federal government at the start of 2021. Ohio is one of many U.S. states that are reporting an influx of gross gaming revenue that has not been seen for a while. Pennsylvania and Maryland have seen an increase in the gross gaming revenue for 2021, just based on their March figures. Maryland was able to increase its revenue marking a third consecutive high for the state’s gaming facilities in April. There haven’t been any reports of Pennsylvania’s April figures as yet.
Even though Ohio casinos are still operating at limited capacity based on health and safety guidelines, no guests have been turned away. The large gaming facilities allow for safe interaction inside the property and patrons are excited about placing their bets. It seems as though stimulus and the demand for casino gaming are what is currently driving the gaming recovery. Additionally, the gaming industry also received news that a legalized sports betting market could be on its way soon. A plan made by state lawmakers laid out the direction they want to take to launch sports wagering in Ohio.
According to the details of the proposed bill, the sports betting market will be large and extremely competitive. However, there will be several betting options for bettors to choose from and even lottery-based sports betting products to try out. The Senate bill would allow as many as 40 sports betting licenses to be issued. The estimation is that half of the licenses will be pursued by racinos and casinos in the state which could partner with an online skin to expand betting options. Professional sports leagues and smaller businesses in the state could also have an opportunity to participate in the new industry. The latter could be a result of grocery store and bowling alley owners crying out to be a part of the gaming expansion.