The state of Ohio has seen several new casinos open up in the past few years. Ohio has also seen the addition of seven racinos throughout the state as well, giving gamblers plenty of options when it comes to gambling in the buckeye state. A racino is a horse race track combined with gambling facilities such as slot machines and poker tables. These horse race track and gambling hybrids are becoming more and more popular not only across Ohio, but across the country.
2012 saw the addition of three new casinos in Ohio. This included casinos in Cleveland and Toledo which opened up in May of 2012 and another casino in the capital city of Columbus which opened up in October of 2012. 2013 saw the addition of another casino, in Cincinnati.
A report released by the Ohio Department of Taxation shows that second quarter tax revenues were up only slightly from the previous year. While this can be construed as a positive sign, the latest second quarter figure is less than the second quarter revenues in 2013. In that year, Trumbull County had a net tax revenue $647,310, compared to a total of $584,420 in 2013. Columbiana County also saw a drop in 2016 of about $30,000 in revenues from a high in 2013.
Several factors are at play that explain why casino revenue and tax income has been on a downward trend for the past three years. The first is that opening up seven racinos throughout the state. These new facilities compete for gamblers. The second reason is that the novelty of the new casinos has passed. When new casinos were opened up there was a lot of excitement from customers about new gambling locations and resorts. After awhile though, the excitement fades and this is shown by the decrease in casino revenues and subsequently a drop in tax revenue.
Another factor at work is the stagnant economy. Prices are increasing while wages remain relatively flat. People are now having to spend more on basic expenses such as housing and food and have less to spend on entertainment and leisure. Gambling also comes second to family trips and vacations.
Ohio casinos pay a third of their net profits in tax to the state of Ohio. This tax revenue is then distributed every quarter to Ohio’s 88 counties. The eight largest cities in the state also see a chunk of this casino revenue go into their budgets well.