Ohio’s Casinos Post Record Numbers Among Easing COVID-19 Restrictions

Ohio has had it rough as the state’s casinos and racinos faced various restrictions, from reduced operational hours to a limited number of slot and table games for the most part of 2021. A positive trend seems to be emerging, though.

Ohio’s Gambling Properties See Record Numbers in February

Ohio’s 11 gambling properties managed to bring in steady results all throughout last year and the latest results for February, published by the Casino Control Commission on Monday, show that the state’s four casinos have been able to realize $75.2 million in revenues after all winning stakes have been paid out. This accounts for an 11.3% increase in overall results year-over-year. These numbers concern the four casinos in the state.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Lottery Commission reported that the seven racinos saw their revenue hit $103.5 million or up 13.7% year-over-year. Commenting on Ohio’s results, American Gaming Association senior vice president Casey Clark said for News 5 Cleveland that Ohio is doing well despite the challenges it has faced and added:

“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.”

American Gaming Association senior vice president Casey Clark

For instance, Jack Casino’s slot machine revenue fell, but table revenue went up by 24.4% year-over-year in February. This could be attributed to the relaxation of COVID-19 mandates in Ohio, which has allowed in-person attendance and a more relaxed environment on the casino floor.

Inflation May Crimp on Discretionary Spending by Consumers

Ohio, though, may face some difficulties still, not least because of rising inflation, which means that people would have less discretionary income to spend on their hobbies. While the industry is under some pressure, Ohio as a whole is close to launching its sports betting industry as well.

The state is expected to launch by January 1, 2023, and has already secured bids from prominent entities that are willing to operate sports betting products, including Fubo Gaming, DraftKings, FanDuel, and others. The state though has most likely lost a hefty chunk of taxable revenue on the Super Bowl LVI game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams in February, as Ohio has still not legalized sports betting.