The state’s casinos had a big month in March, though not quite as big they did last year.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission said gaming revenue from the freestanding casinos in Cincinnati , Cleveland , Columbus , and Toledo totaled $72.9 million last month, easily the best so far this year and the third best month since the four casinos opened.
However, all four casinos were down compared with March, 2014. Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati had the worst year-over-year result, with revenues falling 13 percent from last year to $17.5 million. Revenues fell 12 percent at Hollywood Casino Columbus, and 7 percent at Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland. Revenues were off less than 1 percent at Hollywood Casino Toledo, which reported revenues of $17.3 million
All together, revenues were 8 percent lower in March than they were a year ago. Some of that decrease may be attributable to the fact that March had five full weekends in 2014 but only four weekends this year.
March has historically been the gaming industry’s strongest month in Ohio, and industry observers say that’s common throughout the Midwest as better weather helps lure people back out after winter. March, 2013, remains the casinos’ highest-grossing month, when the four casinos reported total revenues of more than $84 million.
The monthly gaming reports released by the Casino Control Commission include only revenue derived from slots and table games. Revenues on things such as drink sales and merchandise aren’t reported.
Despite the down month in March, statewide revenues for the quarter are nearly unchanged from a year ago. Though it remains the lowest-grossing of the four, Hollywood Casino Toledo had the best year-over-year performance in the first quarter, with total revenues up a little more than 6 percent.
Casino revenue is taxed at 33 percent.
The state’s seven racinos - which combine harness racing with video gaming - had a record month in March and nearly brought in as much as the four Las Vegas-style casinos. The Ohio Lottery Commission, which oversees the racinos , said total revenues were $72.7 million last month. The previous record was in October, when they brought in $66.2 million.