The four commercial casinos in Ohio ended 2021 with record revenue, taking in nearly $1 billion for the calendar year.
The exact total of $983,711,240 was 15.6% higher than the state’s previous record of $850,984,462, set in 2019. In 2020, with COVID-19 protocols leading to casino closures, the revenue was about $643.4 million.
Casino revenue had held pretty steady in the Buckeye State until 2020, exceeding $800 million in six of the seven years since the fourth casino to open, then known as Horseshoe Cincinnati, launched in March 2013.
But 2021 saw the $800 million barrier for casino revenue shattered by the end of October. The all-time record month of $92.56 million in revenue for the four facilities combined came in April. Slot revenue for the year topped $695 million in 2021 and table games accounted for $288.5 million.
Herer are three takeaways from the latest Ohio casino revenue reports as well as from the racinos (racetracks with slots) in the state.
The casinos ended the year with their best month since July, pulling in $84,564,055 in revenue. That’s an 8.3% increase over the $78.1 million reported in November, according to figures posted by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
Hollywood Columbus Casino led the state in revenue in December at $22 million, followed closely by JACK Cleveland Casino at $21.7 million. Hard Rock Cincinnati reported $20.9 million and Hollywood Toledo was just a few thousand dollars short of $20 million for the month. All four facilities exceeded $200 million for the calendar year.
Total slot revenue in the state was $59.6 million and table games brought in nearly $25 million.
The seven racinos in Ohio combined for $112,279,978 in revenue for December, an increase of 11.5% over the $100.7 million from November, according to the Ohio Lottery.
MGM Northfield was the leading racino in terms of December revenue, with $22,987,919. Miami Valley Gaming in Lebanon was second at $19.2 million. The other facilities were: Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs in Columbus ($19 million), JACK Thistledown Racino in Cleveland ($16.65 million), Hollywood Gaming Dayton ($13.58 million), Hollywood Mahoning Valley in Youngstown ($12.76 million) and Belterra Park in Cincinnati ($8 million).
Unlike the casinos, the state’s racinos keep track of their record by fiscal year, from July to June.
The 11 gambling facilities in Ohio (casinos and racinos) combined for $196,844,033 in December revenue, 10.1% higher than the $178.8 million in November.
On Dec. 22, Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill legalizing both mobile and retail sports betting in Ohio, bringing a successful ending to a years-long process in the state.
It will take several months for gaming regulators to sort through the process before they even start accepting applications from sports betting operators. The law says that sports wagering must begin by Jan. 1, 2023, but advocates hope to launch well before then.
In the meantime, probably Ohio’s most notable sports-related tourist attraction is getting ready for sports betting.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Village in Canton announced in late December that it had an agreement with Rush Street Interactive for the operator to provide sports betting at the site. The Village’s centerpiece attraction is the Pro Football Hall of Fame itself.
There are no real money online casino options in Ohio – they are offered in neighboring states Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia as well as a few others – but at least online sports betting will become a reality in the upcoming months.