COLUMBUS — A bit of the novelty has apparently worn off, but Ohio’s first two entrees into casino gambling continued to do robust business last month.
In all, gamblers wagered a total of $383.8 million at Hollywood Casino Toledo and Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland in July, off 8 percent from the numbers seen during both casinos’ first full month of operation in June.
According to numbers released today by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, Hollywood Casino on the East Toledo riverfront took in a total of $189.1 million last month, down about 12 percent from $215.2 million in June.
The lower gambling numbers mean the casinos’ total revenues after payouts were also down, from $46.6 million in June to $43 million in July, as was government’s 33 percent take of that money as a not-so-silent partner in the venture. The 33 percent tax on that $43 million should be about $14 million to be distributed according to a formula to counties, schools, and other local governments across the state as well as the host cities of Toledo and Cleveland, anti-gambling addiction programs, horse-racing purses, the casino commission, and law enforcement training.
The Department of Taxation will not release details on how the money would be distributed until it releases its quarterly report at the end after September. July numbers for Ohio’s first racetrack slots parlor, Scioto Downs in Columbus, were also not available today from the Ohio Lottery Commission.
Hollywood Casino continued to eclipse its Ohio casino competition with a slot machine payout of nearly 91 percent of what it took in, above the 88 percent paid by Horseshoe Casino in downtown Cleveland, Ohio’s mandated 85 percent minimum, and Michigan’s 80 percent mandatory minimum for its three Detroit casinos.
The 2,023 slot machines at Penn National Gaming, Inc.’s Hollywood Casino accounted for 90 percent of the wagering done there where the payout at table games was a less generous 81 percent. But the casino’s slots revenue amounted to just 81 percent of its total gambling revenue, a reflection of its higher slots payouts.
Hollywood Casino’s taxable after-payout revenue of $19.1 million was down from $20.4 million the month before. The casino opened on May 29, about two weeks after Horseshoe opened its first phase in a former Higbee’s department store building. Horseshoe’s taxable revenue was $23.9 million in July, down from $26.1 million in its inaugural month.