Gross Gaming Revenue from Ohio’s four casinos was $88.7 million in July, putting the total 2022 figures only 2% below the previous year. In addition, the state’s seven racinos reported $118 million in revenue from business operated via its video lottery terminals.
Ohio is only months away from launching its legal sports betting market, which will debut seconds into the New Year on Jan. 1, 2023. The addition of Ohio online sports betting and retail sportsbooks is expected to drive tax revenues from gaming in the state to much higher levels.
Gaming in Ohio is governed by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, which has the responsibility to set rules, establish deadlines and processes for applications, and perform the vetting of operators seeking a license.
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Tax Revenues at $459 Million from Gaming in 2022
Taxes from casino gaming and lottery, which are handled by casinos and racinos, are taxed at higher rates than sports betting. In Ohio, gaming is taxed at 33% on the GGR for casinos, and 33.5% for racinos.
The tax rate for sports betting operators is 10% on gross revenue. That means unlike in other states, operators cannot deduct expenses from marketing and sportsbook promotions. The state of Ohio also doesn’t allow operators to have negative carryover. Ohio sportsbooks should pay a larger portion of revenue in taxes in Ohio than in other states which are more permissive of deductions.
Still, more money will go into state coffers in 2023, when sportsbooks pay taxes on sports betting operations. Ohio is the seventh-most populous state in the country and it’s expected that tax revenue will be on par with neighboring states Pennsylvania and Michigan, both of which have had robust sports betting markets for more than a year.
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Winnings Down Slightly for Gaming Operators
Ohio’s casinos and racinos won nearly $207 million in July 2022, but the winning margin was 2% below July 2021 — a record-setting month when the figure reached $211.2 million. As a result, gaming operators are eyeing other methods of attracting new customers and inching existing customers to play more. The use of vouchers and promotions could increase in the coming months as casinos and racinos strive to get back to 2021 revenue levels.
When Will Online Casinos be Legal in Ohio?
Currently, Ohio residents can play casino games at retail casinos in four locations: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo. Ohio also allows online “sweepstakes casino” sites.
The law passed that will lead to legal sports betting in the Buckeye State on Jan. 1, 2023, does not permit online casino apps. Additional legislation will have to be introduced, debated, and passed for online casinos to appear in the state.
Sweepstakes casino play does not use real money, so players are using tokens or coins. They purchase coins for a fee and can earn bonuses and prizes by their play of sweepstake casino poker, roulette, and other games. These games are usually connected to social media and allow players to compete with friends and family in groups and see leaderboards.