Ohio casino revenues increase in March; Talks about legalizing online casinos are gaining popularity

Ohio casino revenues increase in March;  Talks about legalizing online casinos are gaining popularity

ohio_casinos_report_surge_in_revenue_ohio_casinos_report_surge_in_revenue_The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) has released its revenue report for March 2024, showing a notable increase in revenue for the month. The combined taxable revenues of the state’s four casinos were more than $94.7 millionwhich represents a significant increase of 13.4% over February 2024 gaming revenue $83.5 million.

In addition, there is a modest annual sales increase of 1.4% compared to the previous year. It’s worth noting that this revenue includes revenue from both slots and table games and excludes in-person sports betting, as online casinos have not yet been legalized in Ohio.

Although Ohio has yet to legalize online casinos, recent discussions among lawmakers indicate a possible shift in this landscape. Lawmakers have met to debate the feasibility of legalizing online casinos, citing the state’s interest in the fast-growing sector and the booming markets already established in neighboring states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Monthly revenue increase at Ohio casinos

The OCCC’s March 2024 revenue report shows monthly revenue increases across the board for all four casinos. Of the total taxable revenue of $94.7 million, slot revenue contributed $69.0 million, while table games brought in $25.7 million. Notably, Hollywood Columbus showed the most substantial monthly progress, with revenue of $25.6 million, reflecting robust monthly growth of 13.3%. Other casinos also saw a notable increase in revenue compared to the previous month:

  • Jack Cleveland Casino: $24.5 million in revenue, up 13.3% monthly
  • Hollywood Toledo: $22.5 million in revenue, up 16.8% monthly
  • Hard Rock Cincinnati: $22.2 million in revenue, up 10.5% from February

Annual revenue trends

Examining year-over-year performance reveals varying trends among casinos. Hollywood Toledo and Hollywood Columbus both reported annual increases, with increases of 8.2% and 5.1%, respectively. Jack Cleveland Casino saw a marginal annual increase of 0.4%. However, Hard Rock Cincinnati saw a notable annual decline of almost 7.5%, the only casino to do so in March. This contrasts with February, when Jack Cleveland Casino showed a year-over-year decline.

Recent discussions among Ohio lawmakers have focused on the possibility of legalizing online casinos. The Study Committee on the Future of Gaming in Ohio has been delving into the topic in its initial meetings, and upcoming sessions will cover various aspects including iLottery, racinos/charity gaming, sports betting and daily fantasy sports. Proponents argue that regulating online casinos could help address problems associated with gambling problems, while potentially generating significant tax revenue for the state. Estimates suggest that Ohio could generate between $205 million and $410 million in new tax revenue annually if online casinos were legalized.

The success and revenue generated by neighboring states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, where online casinos flourish, serve as compelling examples for Ohio lawmakers. With these states raking in significant tax revenue from iGaming, pressure is increasing on Ohio to consider legalizing online casinos, possibly in the near future or by 2025.

Source: “Ohio Casino Control Commission. “Monthly Sales Report: March 2024.” (pdf)