In the realm of Ohio’s vibrant gaming industry, November heralded a triumph of numbers, with gross gaming revenue (GGR) rising to an unprecedented peak of $186.1 million from the state’s slot machines and table games – a record-breaking figure for the month.
The heartbeat of Ohio’s casino landscape, Hollywood Casino Columbus, shone as the most lucrative establishment throughout nearly the full stretch of 2023. With the tally from December’s earnings eagerly awaited later in the month, there is palpable anticipation that the state’s four casinos will shatter their previous annual revenue records.
Ohio’s gaming infrastructure is comprised not only of four casinos that entertain with both slots and table games but also of seven racinos dedicated to slot-only experiences, officially known as video lottery terminals (VLTs) under the wings of the Ohio Lottery.
The reported November win eclipsed the prior year’s record for the same month, which stood at $183.6 million. In the realm of casinos, the quartet—comprising Jack Cleveland, Hollywood Toledo, Hollywood Columbus, and Hard Rock Cincinnati—garnered $80.4 million. Their gaming apparatus at the time involved 6,127 slot machines and 363 table games and yielded a yearly revenue increase of more than 2%.
The realm of racinos experienced a modest boost with their 10,312 VLTs securing nearly $105.7 million—less than a 1% uptick from the previous November—and marking the fourth consecutive decline in month-to-month VLT earnings since July’s peak of over $117.5 million.
As the Ohio gaming narrative unfolds, the plot thickens with the possibility of another record year hanging in the balance. Last year, the four casinos set a lofty benchmark with earnings that soared to $1.005 billion. At the close of November this year, their accumulative total nudged to $923.22 million. Should December mimic the previous year’s performance, the gaming sector could well bask in a new record.
Hollywood Columbus leads the charge with January-through-November revenues flirting with the $247.9 million mark. Jack Cleveland presses close on their heels, while Hard Rock Cincinnati and Hollywood Toledo follow with formidable hauls of their own.
For VLTs, the stringent oversight of the Ohio Lottery ensures rigorous regulation. The 2023 fiscal year rang with a gaming revenue chorus of $1.34 billion, slightly outperforming that of 2022. And, as the 2024 fiscal year unfolds, the tentative strokes of a slight increase paint the ongoing success of VLT revenue.
The inauguration of legal sports betting in 2023 opened a riveting chapter for Ohioans, who gallantly embraced the 29 sportsbooks with a flurry of activity that almost grazed the $7 billion wagering mark by November. The virtual realm, a conduit for the lion’s share of that figure, hailed online platforms as the bedrock of the sportsbook revenue.
Among the digital frontrunners, ESPN Bet emerged through its partnership with Hollywood Columbus, seizing a considerable presence in the market. And despite its late November entry, it clinched an impressive revenue within weeks.
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