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Ohio casinos and racinos generate third-best revenue record in May



hio’s casinos and racinos continued a streak of bustling activity in the month of May as the coronavirus pandemic died down. Reports released by the state on Monday show that the state’s 11 casinos and racinos in May combined are set to take in more than $209 million in gambling revenue, after paying out winnings, reports Cleveland.

While not the biggest gambling month in Ohio’s history, a designation that belongs to April, it was the biggest May on record and the third most lucrative month overall, behind March and April.

Overall, casino and racino revenue was up 23.5% from the $169.4 million that they took in during May 2019, the last comparable month that gambling facilities operated with no coronavirus restrictions that affected their hours of operation. About a third of the gambling revenue is turned over to the state in the form of fees and taxes.

Meaning that the three biggest gambling months ever have come in the first half of 2021, as more Ohioans received their vaccines and the number of coronavirus cases dropped.

The record revenue also coincided with decisions by local and state governments to lift overnight curfews and money from bills Congress passed to give stimulus checks to most Americans. Those factors, along with occurring in what typically is a busy time of the year for the facilities, may have led to record revenue.

In the Cleveland-Akron market, revenue was up a combined 26.8% over May two years ago for the following three facilities:

  • JACK Cleveland Casino: $22.5 million, up 25.1% from $18 million.
  • JACK Thistledown Racino: $19.1 million, up 50.7% from $12.7 million.
  • MGM Northfield Park: $25 million, up 14.4% from $21.9 million.

Ohio’s seven racinos, which are overseen by the Ohio Lottery Commission and are limited to chance-based slot machines known as video lottery terminals, had $122.4 million in revenue, up 27.6% from $95.9 million in May 2019.

The four casinos in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo took in $86.8 million, up 18.2% from $73.5 million in May 2019. The casinos, overseen by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, offer slot machines, as well as table games and poker rooms.

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