Posted on: August 9, 2022, 10:36h. 

Last updated on: August 9, 2022, 01:22h.

Ohio casinos and racinos won nearly $207 million in July from their patrons. The haul was about 2% less compared with the gaming industry’s record-setting July 2021 performance, when the 11 properties won $211.2 million. But July 2022 still easily outpaced pre-pandemic 2019.

Ohio casinos racinos GGR gaming revenue
Leo the Lion stands guard outside MGM Northfield Park. The racino in July 2022 helped fuel yet another prosperous month for Ohio casinos and racinos. (Image:

Ohio’s seven racinos generated gross gaming revenue (GGR) of approximately $118 million from their video lottery terminals. The slots win was 2.2% below the $120.7 million the racinos won in July 2021.

The state’s four casinos reported GGR of $88.7 million — a 2% year-over-year decline from the $90.5 million they won during July 2021.

But when compared with pre-pandemic July 2019, the Ohio gaming industry continues to outperform and expand in terms of monthly revenue. Through seven months of 2022, Ohio casino and racino revenue totals approximately $1.38 billion. Through the same seven-month period in 2019, gaming win stood at $1.13 billion.

Gaming Roaring Amid Economic Uncertainty

Though the pain at the gas pump has subsided slightly in recent weeks, record inflation and the threat of a recession has reined in some leisure consumer spending. Lowering gas prices has partially been credited towards less demand, as many Americans have decided to call off their summer travel plans or stay closer to home.

That could be playing into the Ohio racino’s and casinos’ favor. The regional properties rely much more on drive-in traffic from nearby residents than out-of-state visitors.

While GGR overall was slightly down year-over-year in July 2022, MGM Northfield Park — typically the top revenue-generator among the 11 gaming properties — experienced a further uptick in play. The MGM Resorts-operated racino won $25.3 million, a 2.2% premium on July 2021. MGM Northfield Park’s July 2022 performance also represents a more than 19% surge on July 2019, when the racino won $21.2 million.

The state is the biggest beneficiary of the ongoing robust gaming play. The state collects 33% of each casino’s GGR and 33.5% of each racino’s slot win. Through seven months, state gaming taxes total roughly $459 million. Racinos have paid the bulk of the gaming tax income at approximately $263.1 million.

The state will see more gaming tax income once sports betting commences on January 1, 2023. State lawmakers and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) legalized gambling on sports last year. Retail and mobile operations are set to begin at midnight of the new year.

Betting Slowdown

Though Ohio casinos and racinos continue to experience strong play, the numbers provided by the Ohio Lottery reveal some concern.

Credits played — or the total amount of money bet on the VLT slots — totaled $1.31 billion last month. The bets included more than $18.9 million in promotional play the racinos gave their guests. In July 2021, gamblers wagered over $1.32 billion on the gaming terminals, which included about $18.8 million in free play.

The racinos are seemingly taking steps to keep gamblers happy. Along with slightly more free slot vouchers, the racinos loosened their machines a bit.

In July 2021, the average percentage payout for a VLT terminal was 90.89%. Last month, the devices paid out 91.02%.