Dayton’s racino marked its first year in business with another $7 million month — its seventh in a row.
“They seem to be settling in with a pretty regular clientele,” said Connie Miller, director of operations for the Ohio Lottery, which regulates the state’s seven racinos. “It takes some time, but they’re doing a good job.”
Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway reported $7,191,224 in August revenue, a 2.6 percent drop from July, according to figures released Tuesday by the Lottery.
Since opening in late August 2014, Hollywood Gaming has reported total revenue of $85.2 million — money left after winnings and promotional credits are paid. Racinos’ winnings are taxed at 33.5 percent, which means more than $28.5 million gambled at the facility has gone to the Lottery, which earmarks the money for education.
The Dayton racino’s monthly numbers have been predictable, but racino operator Penn National Gaming says it’s too early to gauge long-range revenue trends.
“While we’re very pleased with the performance of Dayton, it’s still way too soon to get a long-range handle on what revenue will be,” Penn National Gaming spokesman Bob Tenenbaum said.
The harness racing season at the Dayton racino begins Sept. 14. There will be 75 race dates — up from 56 last year — and the season ends Dec. 30.
Miami Valley Gaming in Warren County, which is larger than the Dayton racino, had net winnings of $10.4 million in August — its sixth straight month with revenue of $10 million-plus. Its slots payout percentage was 91.27 — which means $91.27 of every $100 gambled goes back to customers.
Hollywood Gaming’s payout percentage was 90.28 last month. The only racino in Ohio with a lower payout was Hollywood Gaming Mahoning Valley, which paid out 89.62 percent. Penn National operates both Hollywood properties.
Only twice in its first 12 months of operation has the Dayton racino’s slots payout percentage exceeded the state average. It has hovered between 90 and 91 percent, with a high of 91.66 percent in September 2014.
The state minimum, set by the Ohio Lottery, is 85 percent. Each racino and casino has the ability to adjust slots payouts.
“You’re trying to find the balance between what makes sense from a business standpoint and a competitive standpoint,” Tenenbaum said. “In Dayton we have another facility close by, so they know what we’re doing and we know what they’re doing.”
Penn National’s two casinos — located in Columbus and Toledo — had lower slots and table game payouts than Ohio’s other two casinos, located in Cincinnati and Columbus.
“As a corporate policy, we tend to be somewhat conservative,” Tenenbaum said.
The Horseshoe Cincinnati reported August revenue of $17.4 million last month, its second-best total of the year. It was the top-performing casino in Ohio.
Year-over-year revenue at the state’s four casinos dropped by more than $4 million last month to $66.3 million. Ohio’s seven racinos combined for $71.8 million in winnings.
“That’s definitely cannibalization by the racinos and shows the impact they’ve had on the casinos,” said Alan Silver, a gambling industry expert and professor at Ohio University. “We have an overabundance (of gambling) in the state of Ohio.”
The Hard Rock Rocksino in the Cleveland suburb of Northfield recorded its best month ever in August with $18.9 million. The Belterra Park racino southeast of Cincinnati also enjoyed its best month ever at $6.3 million.