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Published: Tuesday, 1/8/2013

Casino revenues rise 1st time since June

BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Santa must be a gambling man.

The holiday month of December was marked by Hollywood Casino Toledo's first monthly revenue increase since June, its first full month of operation.

The casino’s December adjusted gross revenue totaled about $14.2 million, up from $13.6 million in November, according to data released Monday by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Adjusted gross revenue is the casino's revenue from table games and slot machines after winnings winnings are paid. In Toledo, table-game revenue bumped up by nearly $286,000 last month over November’s tally and slot revenue by about $301,000.

Representatives of the local casino could not be reached for comment Monday.

The Toledo casino opened in late May and posted its biggest monthly revenues to date in June, at $20.4 million.

Cleveland’s Horseshoe Casino saw revenues hike even more substantially in December, to $24.5 million up from $20.5 million in November. Previously, Cleveland’s revenues also had dropped each month since its first full month of operation in June.

Hollywood Casino Columbus, which opened Oct. 8, saw revenue decline last month to about $18 million, down from $20 million in November.

Commission spokesman Tama Davis said a full year of operations is needed to determine “what’s normal” for revenues. Each of the casinos’ host cities are unique, and the revenue results are “market-specific,” she said.

“I think for Cleveland especially, they had an uptick in promotional play. They also are doing aggressive marketing for bus trips to their property, and they’ve expanded their table games, and their table games are very robust. They have a good handle on their market,” Ms. Davis said. “I think Toledo is kind of doing the same thing in getting a handle on their market.”

Ohio casinos pay a 33 percent tax on gross revenues. Their next round of local-government payments will be made by Jan. 31, as well as the first distribution to schools, said a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Taxation. Amounts school districts will receive should be calculated by later this week.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6065.


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