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Ohio


Ohio's racinos and casinos compete for revenue
Ohio's legalized gambling industry is young and experiencing growing pains
Story by LEWIS WALLACE


 
Ohio is opening new tracks and converting all of them to a racing-slots combo.
Courtesy of Jeff Kubina
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Ohio casino numbers are out for the month of May, and month-to-month revenues are up. But as WYSO’s Lewis Wallace reports for Ohio Public Radio, with a new racino on the way, there’s growing competition for those gambling dollars in southwest Ohio.

WALLACE: Racinos and casinos

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A racino is a combination horse race track and gambling venue. Last year, one opened between Cincinnati and Dayton, and now another is planned for north Dayton. That’s on top of four other racinos and four casinos in Ohio.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati’s Horseshoe Casino saw revenues fall more than 2 million dollars compared to May of the previous year. So it raises the question—are more people going to gamble more in southwest Ohio, or are gambling customers just going to spread out across the growing number of facilities?

Bob Tenenbaum with Hollywood Gaming—the company that’s opening the north Dayton racino—says it’s just too soon to say what the numbers mean. Ohio’s only had casinos for two years.

“Even though it may seem like a long time to people, the gaming market in Ohio is, in the overall scale of things, very young.”

Local governments have their eyes on casino profits because they’re split up between the companies, county and city governments and schools based on state law. But racino profits won’t go to local governments...instead, Ohio schools get a cut of those dollars.

 

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