Ohio commercial gaming brought in $171.24 million worth of revenue in January, getting 2022 started in record fashion. That was a 13% decrease from the December total of $196.84 million.
But according to Cleveland.com, the exact total of $171,237,748 was the best January in state history for casino and racino revenue, breaking the record of $167.5 million set in 2020. In 2021, with measures related to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in place, the figure dipped to $153.4 million.
The four commercial casinos combined for $75.6 million in total revenue for January. Ohio’s seven racinos (racetracks with slot machines) reported $95.6 million in revenue, or net win, to kick off 2022.
It will be interesting to see what kind of impact Ohio betting sites have on casino revenue when it launches. The state has legalized sports betting but it won’t get underway for several months. The state-imposed deadline is Jan. 1, 2023.
Ohio does not offer real money online casino options, so the income that neighboring states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia pull in from iGaming is not available in the Buckeye State.
Casinos Revenue Rises Year-Over-Year
The four casinos in Ohio had a decline from December (10.5% percent, from $84.56 million to $75.63 million) but had a 16.6% increase in a year-over-year comparison with the $64.87 million from January 2021, according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission’s monthly figures.
For January, Hard Rock Cincinnati led the state with $20.2 million in revenue, the first time that casino has topped Ohio’s chart since August 2015. Hollywood Columbus Casino was next at $19.97 million, followed by JACK Cleveland Casino at $18.3 million and Hollywood Toledo with $17.16 million.
Racino Revenue Drops Below $100M
January was the first month of the 2021-22 fiscal year (from July 2021 to June 2022) that Ohio did not reach $100 million in racino revenue.
The state’s seven racinos saw their combined revenue fall from $112.28 million in December to $95.61 million in January, a 14.8% decline in figures that the Ohio Lottery reported.
MGM Northfield led the state in racino revenue for January at $20.21 million. Next came Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs in Columbus with $17.33 million and Miami Valley Gaming in Lebanon at $15.6 million.
The other Ohio racino facilities and their January revenue: JACK Thistledown Racino in Cleveland ($13.23 million), Hollywood Gaming Dayton ($11.61 million), Hollywood Mahoning Valley in Youngstown ($11.15 million) and Belterra Park in Cincinnati ($6.47 million).
Ohio Sports Betting on the Way
Gov. Mike DeWine signed legislation in December 2021 to make sports betting in Ohio a reality.
Neighboring states Michigan, West Virginia, Indiana and Pennsylvania have adopted sports betting since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a ban against the practice in 2018. All of those states have mobile sports betting options and have thrived – especially Pennsylvania, which is consistently among the top five states each month in sports betting handle (the total amount wagered).
The process for adopting sports betting in Ohio had several starts and stops. But now that the process is underway, the sports-mad Buckeye State is expected to have a robust market with a lot of sports betting options, meaning that the hundreds of millions in handle that Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana accept each month will be matched in Ohio.
The bad news is, the new market won’t launch in time for fans to wager on the Cincinnati Bengals in Sunday’s Super Bowl 56 against the Los Angeles Rams. So Ohioans interested in placing a legal bet on the big game will have to drive to a neighboring state.