Ohio’s casino gambling industry generated $2.3 billion in 2021, a new yearly high for the market that is now a decade old.
Per state figures, the Las Vegas-style casinos and the racinos set the new record even without sports betting, which was legalized by state officials late in 2021. Ohio will soon have both retail and online sportsbooks.
Revenue to close out the year was just under $200 million in December, up about 50% from the same month a year prior. Ohio’s revenues plummeted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, like other casino states in the U.S.
The year 2019, before the pandemic arrived, saw $1.9 billion in combined revenue from the casinos and racinos, the previous all-time high for Ohio.
Ohio has 11 casino gambling facilities, with the Las Vegas-style casinos located in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Toledo.
According to the American Gaming Association, the casino industry’s leading trade group, Ohio’s casino gambling industry supports jobs for nearly 20,000 Ohioans and generates more than $1.1 billion in tax revenue annually.
The state charges a 33 percent tax on all gross casino revenue, with a separate VLT tax for the racinos. That revenue is split by contributing 66.5 percent to the racinos as commission and 33.5 percent to the Ohio Lottery, which regulates the machines.
Ohio’s 2021 performance came alongside a banner year for the casino industry nationwide. The year was the highest-grossing ever for commercial gaming revenue, “with $44 billion generated and counting,” the AGA said on Jan. 3.
Much of the gains were due to the wave of sports betting legalization.