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Ohio casino revenue dips in June

Revenues at the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati as with other gambling venues in Ohio dipped in June compared to the previous month, new numbers released Monday show.

After clearing winning payouts, the Cincinnati casino brought in $17.6 million, about $2 million less than the previous month, according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission. The Horseshoe Cincinnati has yet to match its monthly best: the $21 million gamblers shelled out in March, the casino’s first full month in operation. But it still outperformed every casino in Ohio besides the Horseshoe Cleveland, ranking second of four.

Statewide, casino revenues dropped to $68.6 million, compared to $72.1 million in May.

Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati General Manager Kevin Kline said the dip in revenue is expected — June and September are typically two of the year’s weakest months for casinos, he said.

“June is one of those transitional months when people are starting summer and travel and ending school,” he said. “This is not a pattern that’s inconsistent with other regional feeder markets.”

Notably, the Horseshoe Cincinnati continued to make liberal use of promotional free slots compared to its Ohio competitors. The casino spent nearly $7.2 million on free slots in June, more than the casinos in Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo combined.

This is part of a campaign to attract new customers as the Cincinnati Horseshoe establishes itself to compete with casinos in Indiana, Kline said.

“We’re reinvesting back into our customers via our slot play to get them into our casino. We’re building the business,” he said.

For the first six months in 2013, casinos in Ohio made about $406 million after payouts.

Ohio’s casinos have their work cut out for them before they can meet the state’s initial lofty projections. A consultant hired by Gov. John Kasich in 2011 projected that the casinos would bring in $1.2 billion annually when fully operational, generating around $400 million for local governments and schools.

Gross casino revenue in Ohio is taxed at a 33 percent rate — most of that money is split among local governments and schools, with small cuts also going to law enforcement, gambling addiction services, and agencies that regulate casinos and horse racing in Ohio.

Like the casinos, revenue at Ohio’s two racinos — one in Cleveland, the other in Columbus — dropped from $22.5 million in May to $21.7 million in June, according to the Ohio Lottery Commission.

Racinos are also planned in the coming months for Dayton, Warren County and Mahoning County.

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