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Ohio gambling revenues remain strong in February after record breaking 2021

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Posted at 5:57 PM, Mar 07, 2022

CLEVELAND — Despite reduced hours, reduced slots, and table games for a part of 2021 it was a record-breaking year for Ohio's four casinos and seven racinos. Momentum that is continuing into 2022. Gambling revenue figures just released Monday by the Casino Control Commission for the state's four casinos showed an 11.3% jump in February over last year with $75.2 million in revenue after all bets were paid. The Ohio Lottery Commission reports the seven racinos were up 13.7% with $103.5 million in revenue.

"If we look at where 2021 went, beginning with a lot of uncertainty and ending with the greatest year on record for commercial gaming it makes sense that that momentum's continued into January and February and I'm glad to see Ohio doing so well,” said Casey Clark, Senior Vice President with the American Gaming Association.

You might think that Cleveland saw a boost from the NBA all-star game but they were only up 9.9%, $20.17 million compared to $18.36 million. While it was almost a point and a half below the state average that can happen when there are so many other things happening around a spectacle like the All-Star Game.

"I don't think we're really second fiddle,” Clark said. “Ten percent growth is pretty impressive however you shake it but I think there are a lot of entertainment options that go around, that are adjacent to a big event like an All-Star Game."

Most interesting to note was that while Jack Casino’s slot machine revenue was actually down one percent year to year, table game revenue in February was up 24.4%. Speaking to the types of gamblers in town and also the easing of COVID-19 restrictions that cleared the way for more tables to be added to accommodate them, 122 tables this year compared to 76 in 2021.

Despite the strong start 2022 though is presenting a headwind that wasn't there a year ago, inflation as a whole led by soaring gas prices with Americans spending a quarter billion dollars a day more at the pump than they were a month ago. Something the industry as a whole will be watching.

"Certainly people have a limited amount of discretionary income and I think that will no doubt how they're choosing to spend and what they have to spend on their entertainment options. I think it's a little too early for us to tell what that might look like but certainly something we're keeping an eye on."

MGM Northfield Park saw a 16.7% jump with $22.38 million in revenue in February compared to $19.2 in 2021. Jack Thistledown’s numbers were up $14.37 million for the month, a 5.6% increase over 2021.