When the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati opened in March, it became the closest Ohio casino to any gaming facility in neighboring states, with the expected results.
Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg was Indiana’s second largest casino, but revenues have dropped off dramatically since the Horseshoe opened just 29 miles away in downtown Cincinnati. In May it slipped into third place, down 38 percent from last year. It was off 25 percent in March and 34 percent in April. Another Southeast Indiana casino was similarly affected – Rising Star in Rising Sun, 41 miles from the Cincinnati casino, was down 23 percent in March, 24 percent in April and 36 percent in May. Belterra, 52 miles away, seemed to feel less of an impact, although it too took a big hit in May.
Last year, Horseshoe Casino Cleveland had a significant impact on Presque Isle in Erie, Penn., about 100 miles to its east. Revenues at Presque Isle have typically been down anywhere between 10 and 20 percent each month since the Cleveland property opened.
On the other side of the state, Hollywood Casino Toledo has not affected Detroit’s casinos much, which are about 63 miles north. Most months since Toledo’s opening at the end of May 2012, the Detroit market was only down a couple of percentage points, and Detroit revenues even increased slightly last summer.
Through the end of May the four Ohio casinos have generated $687.9 million in gaming revenue since Horseshoe Casino Cleveland first opened in May 2012. Two racetrack casinos brought in another $154.9 million. Cincinnati and Cleveland currently generate the most revenue, about $20 million each in May. Hollywood Casino Columbus has the most gaming positions, even after eliminating nearly 500 machines since the beginning of this year – currently offering 2,525 slots and 114 tables. See the monthly revenue trends at each facility.
Hollywood Casino Columbus competes in its own market with Scioto Downs, and with only video lottery terminals, the racetrack has more than held its own. After taking an initial hit when the full casino opened last October, Scioto has fought back, maintaining its VLT count at just over 2,100 machines and generally gaining ground.
Most recently, ThistleDown opened its VLT casino in April, and it’s a little too soon to determine just how much of an impact it will have on Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, some 15 miles away. Northfield Park will join the party in this highly competitive market this fall when its VLT casino opens.
More racetrack casinos are on the drawing board, with construction underway for tracks being relocated to avoid direct competition with some of the full casinos.