CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Horseshoe Cleveland casino and the Rocksino in Northfield are among Ohio's top gambling venues, but their revenues lag far behind casinos in Detroit and Pittsburgh.
In fact, 16 casinos or racinos in neighboring states had more gambling revenue during the last fiscal year that ended in June than Ohio's top draw, Horseshoe Cleveland.
Horseshoe Cleveland took in $218.6 million in adjusted gross revenue, defined as money kept by the casino after paying out winnings.
During the same 12 months, MGM Grand Detroit had $572 million, MotorCity Casino in Detroit had $460 million, Three Rivers in Pittsburgh had $348 million and the Meadows near Pittsburgh had $243 million.
Gambling revenue by state
New Jersey $2,742,127,708
New York $1,898,335,721
West Virginia $704,946,884
Rhode Island $550,911,852
South Dakota $100,508,525
Source: Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Revenue is for commercial casinos. In Michigan, this means only the three Detroit casinos are included, excluding tribal casinos elsewhere in the state.
Ohio's top five casinos or racinos ranked 17th to 21st among 44 commercial operations in the five-state region of Ohio, and neighboring Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the Northeast Ohio Media Group found in reviewing records from each state.
Next after Horseshoe Cleveland in revenues were Hollywood Columbus, Hard Rock Rocksino, Horseshoe Cincinnati and Hollywood Toledo. They were all in the $188 million to $209 million range. Thistledown Racino in North Randall was 31st at $115 million.
(A full chart is at the bottom of this story.)
In a 2009 analysis, the Ohio Department of Taxation projected that the four Ohio casinos would attract far more business, even while taking in account the addition of competing racinos in Ohio.
Cleveland was expected to be Ohio's busiest casino, at $473 million a year, according to the analysis done before Ohio's vote to legalize gambling. Columbus was predicted to generate $398 million yearly, Cincinnati $337 million and Toledo $215 million.
But Ohio's gambling revenue ranked 11th among 21 states during the calendar year of 2014, according to tracking by the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Among Ohio's neighbors, Pennsylvania was second and Indiana was fifth.
Ohio, at $1.5 billion in casino and racino revenue last year, ranked just below New York and Missouri and just ahead of Iowa and Michigan.
Nevada was far and away the leader with total revenue of $11 billion.
Three Ohio racinos - in Cincinnati, Dayton and Youngstown - were not open the entire year of 2014, but projecting their business over the full year did not change Ohio's ranking.
Nationally, state tax revenue from casino taxes in fiscal 2015 increased just 0.1 percent, after being adjusted for inflation, a study released in mid-September by the Pew Charitable Trust said.