August’s return to gambling proves beneficial for Ohio’s casinos
By Bob Garcia
Ohio’s casinos and racinos reached new revenue heights last month
Not all gambling venues across the country are struggling financially amid the coronavirus pandemic, anymore. Case in point, Ohio casinos and racinos, which saw their aggregate August revenue hit a new record. Compared to August 2019, the state reported a 4.7% increase, $7.7 million more than what was reported last year. Cleveland reported a 1.3% gain – including two Jack properties that reported gains – and also a drop-off at MGM Northfield Park, which is still the busiest racino in the state.
The total handle for the month of August across Ohio’s 11 casinos and racinos was $172.1 million, which follows up an increase in revenue that was also reported for the month of July. Even though gambling venues were forced to close for a couple of months in response to the pandemic, the full four months in which casinos and racinos have been operating this year are all reporting new highs in revenue. The only two months falling short in revenue were March and June because venues were not open the full month and April and May that saw no gambling activities whatsoever.
The year-to-date revenue is down sharply compared to last year’s figures, which is only understandable, given the four months in which operations were closed. Revenue from January to August was $840.6 million, which is down from the $1.3 billion that was reported for the same period last year.
Ohio’s best performer for the second month in a row is the Hollywood Casino Toledo, with a $22.9-million handle. Because Detroit casinos did not open until August, Jack Cleveland’s revenue was up only 1.3%. Jack Thistledown Racinos reported a 15.4% increase to $14.1 million and Jack Cleveland Casino was up 1.4% to $18.2 million; however, MGM Northfield Park was down 7.2% to $19.3 million.