In the first full month of operating following their June 19, 2020 reopening, July was a good month for Ohio‘s four casinos and seven racinos, all things considered.
According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the $86,047,151 total for the state’s casinos was a 22 percent increase over the $70,361,639 in gaming revenue from the same time last year, while racino revenue for fiscal year 2021 (July) totaled $95,020,535 compared with $91,865,116 for fiscal year 2020 (July), according to the Ohio Lottery Commission.
“It was a record for Toledo, their largest monthly take ever and the largest take for any Ohio property since 2012.”
Gaming and Leisure Properties’ Hollywood Casino Toledo led the pack, trampling the Midwestern US state’s record, with July 2020 revenue totaling $33,316,109, beating out its previous highest total of $20,444,071 for June 2012, and nearly doubling the $16,801,816 it tallied for the same period last year. Food nor beverage sales are not included in the figure, only gaming revenue.
Last month’s tally was reportedly the highest monthly total for any of the Buckeye State’s four casinos, which were approved by a majority of voting Ohioans in November 2009, including one each that opened in 2012 in Cleveland, Toledo and Columbus, and a fourth in Cincinnati in early 2013.
Prior to last month’s record, Horseshoe Cleveland Casino, now Jack Cleveland Casino, set the highest total ever, $26,115,771, in June 2012.
The first full-service casino in the state, the Horseshoe opened on May 14, 2012, and in May 2016 was rebranded Jack Cleveland Casino as the Dan Gilbert chaired Rock Gaming LLC announced the new corporate name, JACK Entertainment, took over management of the downtown casino. In October 2019, the newly-named company announced an $843 million sale/leaseback deal with NYC-headquartered real estate investment trust (REIT) VICI Properties for its Cleveland casino and suburban Thistledown Racino.
The Penn National Gaming operated venue [Hollywood Casino Toledo] was not the only Ohio casino that faired on the up-side in July after being shuttered on March 14, 2020, in order to comply with an order issued by Gov. Mike DeWine barring gatherings of over 100 people due to COVID-19. According to Ohio Casino Control Commission spokesperson Jessica Franks, state officials believe the record numbers achieved in July by the Toledo casino were influenced significantly by out-of-state gamblers, according to the Toledo Blade newspaper.
“It’ll be interesting to see what happens now that the Detroit casinos have reopened.”
Meanwhile, in neighboring Michigan, the state’s three Detroit area commercial casinos, Greektown Casino-Hotel, MotorCity Casino Hotel, and MGM Grand Detroit, only began reopening on August 5 after being closed for 4 1/2 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Both MotorCity and Greektown opened last Wednesday, while MGM Grand opened for invite-only VIP customers on Wednesday and Thursday, followed on Friday for the general public.
And while residents of the Wolverine State have plenty of other gambling options, with 26 tribal casinos, none of them is located as near to Detroit as Hollywood Casino Toledo. Owned and operated by the Nottawaseppi Band of Huron Potawatomi, Firekeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek is the nearest and still nearly twice as far away at approximately 112 miles away.
Franks reportedly said…
“As best we can figure, Detroit’s three casinos have been closed until last week. And with the proximity of the Toledo casino to the Detroit area, we think a lot of those folks in Detroit came down to Toledo for gaming.”
“It’ll be interesting to see what happens now that the Detroit casinos have reopened. We’re kind of curious as to what happens next month,” she added.
“But it was a record for Toledo, their largest monthly take ever and the largest take for any Ohio property since 2012,” Ms. Franks said, adding that the Toledo casino took in $33 million despite a reduced number of slot machines and closing its poker room to comply with health guidelines.
“So the fact that their revenues were what they were for the month even with all those restrictions, made it very interesting. And it will be even more interesting to see what they do next month, given that situation change in Detroit,” she added.
Other July 2020 figures were as follows:
- At $18,112,037, Jack Cleveland Casino was up from $17,146,199 in July 2019
- Hollywood Casino Columbus’ revenue was $18,098,935 compared with $18,939,319 the same time last year
- Hard Rock Cincinnati Casino’s revenue of $16,520,070 was down from a year ago at $17,474,305.
Ohio sports betting:
In related news, Ohio’s untapped sports betting market appears to still be on hold after legislation that cleared the Ohio House in May awaits potential action from the Senate. The amended version of HB 194 would allow for statewide mobile and retail wagering, however, the ongoing issue of who will be the regulator must first be resolved.