July was a good month for Ohio’s casinos, with the local market enjoying a year-on-year bump of 2.3% as it took in $162.2 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR). With the exception of the MGM Northfield Park, all venues saw an increase in their activity. August has proven to follow the same trend, with all casinos reporting an increase in their GGR with MGM Northfield once again lagging behind.
The state’s five casinos and seven racinos took in a total of $164.3 million last month, which was 4.2% more than they reported a year earlier. The casinos won $71.4 million and the racinos picked up $92.9 million from their video lottery terminal (VLT) operations. GGR increased 1.6% for the casinos and 6.3% for the racinos.
MGM Northfield was forced to report a drop of 3.2% in its GGR after having seen a 5.8% year-on-year decline in July. It wasn’t all bad news for the MGM Resorts International property, though, as the gaming win from its VLTs was $20.7 million.
JACK Cleveland picked up $18 million, JACK Cincinnati earned $17.1 million, Hollywood Toledo saw $17.2 million and Hollywood Columbus was on top with $19.1 million. The Cincinnati gambling house was the only one of the casinos to see a monthly win decline when compared to August of last year.
GGR for the state’s commercial casinos has seen a year-to-date increase of 1.6%, reaching $569.6 million. With the Ohio Lottery getting its fiscal year underway only in July, the racinos it controls have jumped out the gate strong and the VLT hold is up 5% to $184.8 million.
It’s possible that the take will be even greater sometime next year. Lawmakers are now pushing for the introduction of sports gambling to compete with neighboring states like West Virginia, Indiana and Pennsylvania. However, there is still a lot of work to be done.
The first step is to launch a Sports Gaming Advisory Board to explore the topic of legalized sportsbooks, and lawmakers are only now considering the possibility. With no legislation yet approved to create the board, the chances of sports wagers making their way to the Buckeye State before the end of 2019 are slim.