Ohio Gaming Revenue On The Rise

The American Gaming Association released its State of the States report which highlights Ohio gaming revenue increases over 2019 and 2020.

Ohio’s gaming industry will include legal sports betting, likely by late 2022. The Ohio Casino Control Commission recently released application deadlines for companies looking to enter the market. Those dates help produce a slightly more defined timeline for when Ohioans can expect to begin placing wagers on sporting events.

The developments in the regulatory process suggest legal sports betting will arrive by the fourth quarter of this year.

Ohio Gaming Revenue On The Rise

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged so many industries throughout most of 2020 and into 2021. That included the casino and gaming industries across the nation, so it’s no surprise that Ohio experienced significant revenue increases in 2021 as the world reopened.

Ohio, however, deserves some of its own credit for its gaming revenue gains. The Buckeye State produced revenues of $2.31 billion in 2021, marking a 60.4% increase over 2020, and a healthy 19% increase over 2019 as well.

It was a team effort as both Ohio’s suburban racinos and casino resorts in the downtown areas of Ohio’s largest cities experienced record revenues in spite of restrictions.

Ohio required its casinos and racinos to stick to a curfew in 2021 as the pandemic continued to dictate terms. The fact that Ohio’s revenues bounced back so strongly under the circumstances suggests even better results moving forward. Fold in the state’s eventual sports betting market, and one can appreciate the upper reaches of Ohio’s potential gaming revenue.

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Ohio Gaming Tax Distribution

Casinos’ and racinos’ gross revenues are subject to a 33% and 33.5% tax, respectively.

Those two sources were responsible for generating $759.3 million of tax revenue. That represents a 55.6%  increase over 2020.

Ohio’s 88 counties receive approximately half of that revenue to address individual needs. Thirty-four percent of that revenue heads to the Ohio Student Fund, which distributes capital to all the school districts. Another 5% returns to the host cities responsible for the revenue. And, finally, the remainder is reserved to help treat problem gambling and cover regulation costs.

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Competition Resides In Nearby Markets

While there is internal competition among Ohio’s casinos and racinos, there is plenty of external competition as well. Cincinnati-area casinos and racinos receive direct competition from three riverboat casinos stationed on the Indiana side of the Ohio River. Additionally, Kentucky has a sports betting venue in development that will be easily accessible to bettors in Southern Ohio. And not to be ignored, West Virginia’s three racinos and Pennsylvania’s mobile sports betting attract bettors from Youngstown, Canton, and other nearby Ohio towns.

The further development of Ohio’s betting market will likely keep more of those revenues in-state.

About the Author

Craig Williams

Craig Williams is a Charlotte-based sportswriter who has worked professionally in the gaming, fantasy, and sports business industries. He’s an avid fantasy football player, managing over 100 leagues across multiple formats. When he’s not pouring over Vegas odds and statistics, he’s indulging in soccer and enjoys anything from LigaMX to Champions League.