Ohio Casinos Continue Theme Of Mediocrity In October Revenue

Written By Derek Helling on December 1, 2023
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The current fiscal year has been anything but memorable for Ohio’s four brick-and-mortar casinos so far. At the same time, those casinos set a high bar for themselves during the past term that they are still near equalling.

For another segment of Ohio’s legal gambling industry, sportsbooks, October represented a decent showing in the state’s short history of such regulated activity. That was the expectation, though, given the sports calendar.

October casino revenue sags behind previous returns

For the state’s four casinos, evaluating October is a matter of whether you take an optimistic or pessimistic view. While the $79.3 million in October revenue this year is down slightly from the same in October 2022, October 2022’s tally represents a revenue record for casinos in the state for that specific month.

On the bright side, falling only marginally short of a record-high isn’t horrible. However, as with any other business, casinos want consistent and meaningful growth. Falling behind, even just by a few percentage points, represents a failure in that regard.

Revenue from poker, slots, and table games for Ohio’s four casinos has made that a theme during the current fiscal year. Through the first four months of the term, such revenue is again marginally down compared to the first four months of FY2022-23.

Keeping with the theme, FY2022-23 as a whole set a new revenue record for Ohio casinos. To match or beat that in a significant way, the four properties will have to amp up their win over the final eight months of the current fiscal year.

Regardless of the performance, the current fiscal year will be a record one for Ohio sportsbooks. That’s simply because it’s their first. October was a very respectable month for the state’s legal sports betting industry.

October ranks top-five for Ohio sportsbooks

The first October with legal online sports betting in Ohio didn’t disappoint. According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, bettors gambled over $746.2 million, excluding dollars bet using kiosks inside Class C licensed establishments across the state. That’s the second-highest such total in the state’s short history.

Legal sportsbooks went live in Ohio in January, which still ranks at the top as far as dollars wagered go. While October butts right up against January in that statistic, it doesn’t fare quite as well in terms of how much money the sportsbooks actually kept.

In terms of gross win excluding Class C licensees, the $84.9 million that sportsbooks kept stands as Ohio’s fourth-highest monthly total. It also means that books won about 11.4% of the money they took in bets. While those are all respectable numbers, they are no surprise.

October represents the height of the NFL regular season or the busiest time of the year for sportsbooks in the United States. The only surprise would have been if Ohio sportsbooks hadn’t flirted with record totals during October.

For Ohio’s gambling industry, October 2023 truly represented a glass that contains exactly 50% liquid. Perspective determines how you classify such a container.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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