Ohio casinos, Racinos, are breaking sales records with the big March free from overnight curfews and the return of poker rooms

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Ohio gambling industry had its biggest ever month in March. For the first time in a year, poker rooms reopened, coronavirus-related curfews were lifted, and thousands of Ohioans received stimulus money.

The gaming revenue that the house withheld after winnings were paid out totaled $ 215.9 million in March. This matches the record of $ 184.2 million set in March 2019. This is evident from monthly reports published by the state casino control and lottery commissions.

This included records at both JACK Thistledown Racino in North Randall and MGM Northfield Park and the best month in seven years for JACK Cleveland Casino.

Overall, the state’s four casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo achieved combined sales of $ 91.6 million, surpassing the $ 86 million mark set in July. This was the first full month of operation after the state-ordered closings from mid-March to mid-March in mid-June a year ago.

The seven Racinos, limited to slot machines known as video lottery terminals, grossed $ 124.2 million in March, breaking the record of $ 103.1 million in March 2019.

Business began to run in mid-February after 24/7 operations returned with Governor Mike DeWine’s curfew lifted overnight. March was the first full month without a curfew. In addition, on March 13th, the casinos were allowed to reopen poker rooms for the first time in a year.

“I think there are also a few people who get vaccinated and feel comfortable doing things they haven’t already done,” said Jessica Franks, spokeswoman for the Ohio Casino Control Commission. “And some other entertainment options are still limited or not coming back yet.”

Historically, March has been a tough month for the casinos and racinos. Franks said part of this could be because people decided to start spending again after collecting their vacation bills and coming in for tax refunds. That year, most people received another round of stimulus checks in March.

About a third of gaming revenues, which totaled about $ 70 million as of March, goes to the state in the form of taxes and fees.

Mark Dunkeson, CEO of JACK Entertainment in Cleveland, said he believed providing customer convenience has been key amid coronavirus concerns. “Every aspect has been thought through to put the health of our guests first,” said Dunkeson.

Hollywood Columbus Casino had the highest turnover among casinos with US $ 24.8 million, followed by Hollywood Toledo (US $ 23.9 million), JACK Cleveland Casino (US $ 22.2 million) and the former JACK estate in Cincinnati, which now operates as the Hard Rock Cincinnati Casino ($ 20.7 million).

Last month was the best month for downtown Cleveland Casino since $ 24.5 million in March 2014 when it acted as the Cleveland Horseshoe. The record of $ 26.1 million was set in June 2012, the first full month of operation.

MGM Northfield Park’s $ 25.3 million in revenue last month led the seven Ohio Racinos, breaking the Northfield Park record of $ 24.5 million set in March 2019, the last month when before the branding was switched from Hard Rock Rocksino to MGM.

Thistledown’s $ 17.9 million surpassed the record of $ 14.7 million last July.

Below are details on each Ohio Casino and Racino. All locations were closed from mid-March to mid-June 2020.

Ohio casinos

Nationwide March 2020 March 2020
revenue $ 30.9 million $ 91.6 million
Board games $ 9.9 million $ 23.6 million
key $ 21.1 million $ 68.0 million
JACK Cleveland Casino
revenue $ 7.6 million $ 22.2 million
Board games $ 3.6 million $ 9.2 million
key $ 4.0 million $ 13.1 million
Slots payout 92.1% 92.2%
JACK Cincinnati Casino
revenue $ 7.2 million $ 20.7 million
Board games $ 2.7 million $ 5.5 million
key $ 4.5 million $ 15.2 million
Slots payout 92.4% 91.2%
Hollywood Toledo
revenue $ 7.7 million $ 23.9 million
Board games $ 1.3 million $ 3.3 million
key $ 6.3 million $ 20.6 million
Slots payout 90.9% 91.1%
Hollywood Columbus
revenue $ 8.4 million $ 24.8 million
Board games $ 2.2 million $ 5.6 million
key $ 6.2 million $ 19.2 million
Slots payout 92.2% 91.9%

Source: Ohio Casino Control Commission

Ohio Racinos

Nationwide March 2020 March 2021
key $ 41.0 million $ 124.2 million
Pct, To, To, To Be, To, To Be, Payoff 90.9% 90.5%
JACK Thistledown Racino
key $ 5.6 million $ 17.9 million
Pct, To, To, To Be, To, To Be, Payoff 90.4% 90.5%
MGM Northfield Park
key $ 9.6 million $ 25.3 million
Pct, To, To, To Be, To, To Be, Payoff 90.7% 90.5%
Hollywood Mahoning Valley
key $ 4.8 million $ 15.2 million
Pct, To, To, To Be, To, To Be, Payoff 90.4% 90.1%
Eldorado Scioto Downs
key $ 6.9 million $ 22.4 million
Pct, To, To, To Be, To, To Be, Payoff 90.9% 90.3%
Miami Valley Gaming
key $ 6.6 million $ 19.3 million
Pct, To, To, To Be, To, To Be, Payoff 91.7% 91.1%
Belterra Park
key $ 3.1 million $ 8.1 million
Pct, To, To, To Be, To, To Be, Payoff 90.6% 90.1%
Hollywood Dayton
key $ 4.3 million $ 15.9 million
Pct, To, To, To Be, To, To Be, Payoff 91.1% 90.6%

Source: Ohio Lottery Commission

Rich Exner, data analysis editor for cleveland.com, writes about numbers on a variety of topics. Follow @RichExner on Twitter. Follow casino coverage at cleveland.com/casino.

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