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Ohio Gambling Revenue Levels Off In August

Ohio casinos had the spike in revenue that was expected when the states four casinos opened after years of residents having no gambling outlets. That love affair with gambling has wore off over time, as indicated by decreasing revenue figures in August.

Continuing a trend that now spans several months, Ohio's casinos all saw revenue decreases in August. The amount of decline, as much as over 15% at Scioto Downs Casino & Racetrack, is the cause for concern. Still, officials are blaming a general slump across the US for the decline.

"The whole regional gaming market continues to suffer," said Steve Gallaway, an advisor at Gaming Market Advisors. "and almost every market shows year-over-year decline. It's a broken record, but it's the economy. People just don't have the disposable income."

In August, revenue dropped at the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland from $19.86 million, to $18.91 million. Hollywood Casino Columbus revenue fell to $16.89 million, from $17.48 million. Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati had the smallest drop in revenue from July to August, dropping less than one percent. Hollywood Casino Toledo was the only one of the four major casinos to see a revenue increase. In Toledo, revenue rose 2.9%, to $15.86 million.

Not everyone believed that the declining gaming revenue is being seen throughout the US.

"We have seen an incredible rally from many casinos, specifically in gaming-rich areas such as Nevada, California, and Florida," said analyst Walter Thoms. "Casinos have been fighting their way out of the recession, and many have finally turned the corner in the past year."

Thoms went on to explain his theory on declining revenue in Ohio.

"When casinos first open, there is a huge buzz, one where everyone wants to get out and see the new form of entertainment," said Thoms. "But as is always the case, that allure wears off after a while, and eventually revenue figures settle in lower than what is seen in the first year."

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