Introduction to Ohio Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2020
Ohio slot machine casino gambling consists of eleven casinos. Four are stand-alone casinos with table games while seven casinos are pari-mutuel racinos with horse tracks and simulcast betting.
Ohio casinos have a minimum theoretical payout limit. Return statistics are publicly available.
This post continues my weekly State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series, an online resource dedicated to guiding slot machine casino gambler to success. Now in its third year, each weekly post reviews slots gambling in a single U.S. state, territory, or federal district.
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Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling in Ohio*
The minimum legal gambling age in Ohio depends upon the gambling activity:
- Land-Based Casinos: 21
- Poker Rooms: 21
- Bingo: 18
- Lottery: 18
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering: 18
In 1933, an approved constitutional amendment legalized pari-mutual wagering at racetracks. The 1970s saw the arrival of the lottery and charity bingo. Social poker games have always existed, but the house must not profit from the game.
The original operators of Ohio’s four stand-alone casinos backed a proposed constitutional amendment. In November 2009, 52% of voters approved the constitutional amendment allowing one casino in the cities of:
In addition to the usual fees and taxes imposed on Ohio businesses, the constitutional amendment required or specified:
- A 33% tax on gross casino revenue
- Distribution of the proceeds of the tax
- A license fee of $50 million per casino dedicated to workforce development
- An initial capital investment of $250 million for the development of each casino facility
- The existence of the Ohio Casino Control Commission
- The Ohio General Assembly would pass other laws to facilitate the operation of the casino gaming amendment
- A maximum of 5,000 slot machines at each casino facility
- There is no limit on the number of table games allowed
Subsequent changes in state lottery legislation allowed pari-mutual racetracks to begin offer video lottery terminal (VLT) style slot machines in 2012. These were the first racinos in Ohio.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws might apply to various forms of gaming. It is not legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership in Ohio
It is legal to own a slot machine privately in the state of Ohio without restriction as to its date of manufacture.
Gaming Control Board in Ohio
In 2009, a constitutional amendment created the Ohio Casino Control Commission. Its website is comprehensive but only applies to slot machine casino gambling at Ohio’s four stand-alone casinos.
In 1973, a constitutional amendment established the Ohio Lottery Commission. The Ohio Lottery eventually became responsible for and controls video slot machines found at Ohio’s seven racinos. These pari-mutuel racetracks began adding VLT-style slot machines starting in 2012.
The state gaming commission offers significant resources for slots enthusiasts besides return statistics. For instance, enforcement provides quarterly and fiscal year gaming crimes and statistics including offenses by statute.
Casinos in Ohio
There are four commercial casino resorts and seven commercial pari-mutuel racetracks with simulcast betting as well as slot machines in Ohio.
The largest casino in Ohio is Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs with 2,386 gaming machines in February 2020.
The second-largest casino is MGM Northfield Park with 2,183 gaming machines in February 2020.
Commercial Casinos in Ohio
The four casino resorts in Ohio are:
- Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati found in downtown Cincinnati located 106 miles southwest of Columbus along the Ohio River near the borders of Kentucky and Indiana.
- Hollywood Casino Columbus in Ohio’s capital of Columbus.
- Hollywood Casino Toledo found 140 miles north of Columbus near the border to Michigan.
- JACK Cleveland Casino found 144 miles northeast of Columbus near Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland.
The seven pari-mutual racetracks with VLT-style slot machines in Ohio are:
- Belterra Park found 10 miles southeast of downtown Cincinnati on the Ohio River.
- Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs found 11 miles south of downtown Columbus.
- Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway found 59 miles north of Cincinnati.
- Hollywood Gaming Mahoning Valley Race Course in Youngstown found 68 miles southeast of Cleveland.
- JACK Thistledown Racino in North Randall found 16 miles southeast of Cleveland.
- MGM Northfield Park found 18 miles southeast of Cleveland.
- Miami Valley Gaming in Lebanon found 30 miles north of Cincinnati.
Tribal Casinos in Ohio
Ohio has no tribal casinos as no federally-recognized American Indian tribes exist in this state.
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying Ohio slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state. Bordering Ohio is:
- North: Michigan Slots and Lake Erie
- East: Pennsylvania Slots
- Southeast: West Virginia Slots
- South: Kentucky Slots
- West: Indiana Slots
Each of the links above will take you to my blog for that neighboring U.S. state to Ohio.
Our Ohio Slots Facebook Group
Are you interested in sharing and learning with other slots enthusiasts in Ohio? If so, join our new Ohio slots community on Facebook. All you’ll need is a Facebook profile to join this closed Facebook Group freely.
There, you’ll be able to privately share your slots experiences as well as chat with players about slots gambling in Ohio. Join us!
Payout Returns in Ohio
Ohio’s Gaming Control Act section 3772.20 states that the minimum theoretical payout is 85% for slot machines at Ohio’s casino resorts. This same payout limit applies to slot machines at Ohio’s racetracks with slot machines thanks to the Ohio Lottery’s Video Lottery Game Rules.
Ohio’s five stand-alone casino resorts have return statistics publicly available from the Ohio Gaming Commission. However, Ohio’s seven racetracks with slot machines have their return statistics available from the Ohio Lottery. Both sources offer return statistics by:
- State-Wide: 91.82%
- Hard Rock Cincinnati: 92.03%
- Hollywood Columbus: 92.06%
- Hollywood Toledo: 90.97%
- JACK Cleveland: 92.29%
The highest return for casino resorts went to JACK Cleveland at 92.3% while the lowest went to Hollywood Toledo at 91.0%.
- State-Wide: 90.79%
- Belterra Park: 90.90%
- Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs: 90.48%
- Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway: 90.71%
- Hollywood Gaming Mahoning Valley Race Course: 90.20%
- JACK Thistledown Racino: 90.64%
- MGM Northfield Park: 90.97%
- Miami Valley Gaming: 91.31%
The highest return for racinos went to Miami Valley Gaming at 91.3% while the lowest went to Hollywood Mahoning Valley at 90.2%. Overall, JACK Cleveland had the best return of any casino or racino in Ohio while Hollywood Mahoning Valley had the lowest.
Summary of Ohio Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2020
Ohio slot machine casino gambling consists of eleven casinos operating under two gaming commissions. These casinos include four stand-alone casino resorts regulated by the Ohio Gaming Commission and seven racinos with pari-mutuel wagering and video-lottery-terminal (VLT) style slot machines regulated and controlled by the Ohio Lottery.
The minimum theoretical payout limit at all Ohio casinos is 85%. Each gaming control board offers monthly return statistics which are publicly available.
Annual Progress in Ohio Slot Machine Casino Gambling
In the last year, JACK Cincinnati has officially switched ownership to Hard Rock Cincinnati. Further, in Cincinnati over the last year, Boyd Gaming operates Belterra Park after this racino’s purchase in late 2018.
Related Articles from Professor Slots
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Online Resource: State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series
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