Ohio Casinos Not Generating as Much Revenue as Last Year

profile image of Dave Grendzynski
The Cleveland skyline is seen across from the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio on April 7, 2016. William Edwards / AFP

As good as the revenue has been going for sports betting in Ohio, casinos in the Buckeye State are presenting different numbers. Not only was revenue down in April, but it is also down year over year.

Ohio’s 11 casinos and racinos generated just over $200 million in April, down from $204.6 million in April 2023. This is the money the gambling operators kept after paying out winnings to players but before state taxes and fees.

During the first three months of 2024, Ohio’s casinos and racinos generated just under $797 million in gambling revenue, a decrease from the $816.2 million reported during the same time frame in 2023. These figures do not include sports betting provided by top-rated sportsbooks, which was legalized in 2023 in Ohio and are counted separately.

Ohio Casinos Coming off Record Year in 2023

Speaking of 2023, it was a banner year for casinos in Ohio.

The state’s casinos and racinos set a record by reporting a combined revenue of $2.38 billion, surpassing the $2.33 billion reported in 2022. This marked the 10th time in 11 years that they broke the yearly revenue record.

This makes it even more surprising that Ohio’s four casinos were down $3 million in April. They accounted for $83.5 million of revenue, down from $86.5 million in 2023. The hardest hit was the Hard Rock Casino in Cincinnati, which saw revenues fall nearly 12% to $19.8 million.

The state’s seven racinos took in $116.6 million, down from $118.1 million last April.

In March, Bloomberg reported that MGM Resorts International explored selling its Northfield Park location, which experienced a 0.5% revenue decline in April. Northfield Park, previously known as the Hard Rock Rocksino, has been a significant player in Ohio’s gambling scene, consistently outperforming the state’s full-fledged casinos. However, MGM’s consideration of a sale aligns with its strategic focus on larger Las Vegas properties.

So, now we’ll wait to see if May is a bounce-back month for the casinos in Ohio.

Month-To-Month Numbers Tell the Story

Here’s a breakdown of the Ohio Casino Control Commission’s report:

  • January 2024: Revenue declined by almost 18.0% compared to the previous month.
  • February 2024: Revenue increased by 13.7% month-over-month.
  • March 2024: Revenue rose by 13.4% compared to the previous month.
  • April 2024: Revenue decreased by 12.0% month-over-month.

April’s figure almost matched the one from February 2024. This represents a 3.5% decrease from April 2023.

Overall, Ohio remains one of the largest legalized gaming markets in the country.