Introduction to Ohio Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019
Ohio slot machine casino gambling consists of eleven gaming facilities. Four stand-alone casinos have table games and control their slot machines. Seven pari-mutuel racinos have horse races and video lottery terminal (VLT) style slot machines controlled by the state lottery.
The casinos and racinos have the same minimum payout return limits. Each type of casino has publicly available payout statistics, although they are from different gaming commissions.
This post continues the weekly series Online Resource: A State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series, an online resource dedicated to guiding slot machine casino gambling enthusiasts to success. Each weekly post reviews slots gambling in a single U.S. state, territory, or the 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 first half of the 1970s saw the arrival of the lottery and charity bingo. Social poker games have always existed, where the house must not profit from the game.
The initial operators of Ohio’s four 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
Consequently, other aspects of the amendment impacted Ohio’s gaming industry outside of establishing four casinos. For instance, 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 apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership in Ohio
It is legal to privately own a slot machine in the state of Ohio without restriction as to its date of manufacture.
Gaming Control Board in Ohio
In 1973, a constitutional amendment established the Ohio Lottery Commission. The Ohio Lottery is responsible for and controls the video slot machines found at Ohio’s 7 racinos. These pari-mutuel racetracks began adding VLT-style slot machines starting in 2012.
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 casinos.
The state gaming commission offers significant resources for slots players on the topics of:
- Responsible Gambling
- Casino Licensing
- Regulatory Compliance
- Legal Topics
- Skill Games Topics
- Ohio Gaming News
For instance, enforcement provides quarterly and fiscal year gaming crimes and statistics including offenses by statute. In 2018, the most common offen
Casinos in Ohio
There are four commercial non-tribal casinos and seven racetrack racinos in Ohio. There are no tribal casinos in this state.
The largest casino in Ohio is MGM Northfield Park, a racetrack racino near Cleveland formerly known as Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield, having 2,300 gaming machines and zero table games.
The second largest casino is Hollywood Casino Columbus, the stand-alone casino in Columbus, having 2,150 gaming machines and 79 table games.
List of Casinos in Ohio
The four casinos in Ohio are:
- Hollywood Casino Columbus in Ohio’s capital city of Columbus
- Hollywood Casino Toledo found 140 miles north of Columbus near the border to Michigan
- JACK Cincinnati Casino found 106 miles southwest of Columbus near Kentucky and Indiana in downtown Cincinnati.
- JACK Cleveland Casino found 144 miles northeast of Columbus near Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland
The seven pari-mutual racetrack racinos with VLT-style slots in Ohio are:
- Belterra Park found 10 miles southeast of downtown Cincinnati
- 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
List of Tribal Casinos in Ohio
No federally-recognized American Indian tribes exist in Ohio. Consequently, Ohio has no tribal casinos.
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying Ohio slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state or territory. Bordering Ohio is:
- North: Michigan Slots and Lake Erie
- East: Pennsylvania Slots
- Southeast: West Virginia Slots
- South: Kentucky Slots
- West: Indiana Slots
Each link will take you to my article for that bordering state to Ohio.
Payout Returns in Ohio
In OAC Chapter 3772.20, Ohio’s Gaming Control Act states the minimum theoretical payout return is 85% for slot machines at Ohio’s four casinos.
- Ohio’s 4 Casinos
In March 2019, actual payout return statistics for the four casinos were:
- Hollywood Casino Columbus: 91.85%
- Hollywood Casino Toledo: 90.36%
- JACK Cincinnati Casino: 91.65%
- JACK Cleveland Casino: 91.18%
- State-wide: 91.48%
Ohio’s seven racinos only have VLT-style slot machines controlled by the Ohio Lottery. OAC Chapter 3772.20 states in its Video Lottery Game Rules that VLTs will have an average minimum payout return of 85% during the expected lifetime of the game.
VLT payout return statistics by month as well as for each Ohio racino are at VLT Fiscal Revenue Reports. In March 2019, payout return statistics for the seven racinos were:
- Belterra Park: 91.08%
- Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs: 90.61%
- Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway: 90.06%
- Hollywood Gaming Mahoning Valley Race Course: 90.03%
- JACK Thistledown Racino: 90.37%
- MGM Northfield Park: 90.91%
- Miami Valley Gaming: 91.65%
- State-wide: 90.77%
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 freely join this closed Facebook Group.
There, you’ll be able to privately share your slots experiences as well as chat with players about slots gambling in or near Ohio. Come join us!
Summary of Ohio Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019
Ohio slot machine casino gambling consists of four free-standing casinos and seven pari-mutuel racetrack racinos having VLT-style slot machines
Annual Progress in Ohio Slot Machine Casino Gambling
As announced in February 2019, the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield near Cleveland will become MGM Northfield Park. In mid-July 2018, MGM Growth Properties paid $1 billion for the property and later announced MGM Resorts International would take over operations at the racino
In late 2018, Boyd Gaming purchased Belterra Park and Entertainment Center, a racetrack racino outside of Cincinnati, for $57.7 million.
2018 Archive: Ohio Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018 – Ohio slot machine casino gambling consists of 11 casinos, with all but 4 being pari-mutuel sites with video lottery terminal slot machines. Ohio has 4 Vegas-style casinos with traditional slot machines in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo. All casinos report slot payout returns to the state gaming commission.
Related Articles from Professor Slots
- Miami Valley Gaming Racetrack Racino Review in Southwestern Ohio – I review my casino trip report to Miami Valley Gaming, a local racino with VLT-style slot machines in southwestern Ohio. I give my first impressions, locate and play a slot machine recommended by a fan, Mike, and have an insightful talk with a knowledgeable slot attendant named Amberli. I also visit MVG’s high limit slots area.
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Online Resource: A State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series – This online resource for slot machine casino gamblers summaries a third year of 56 weekly posts for each U.S. state, territory, and the federal district. Slots players begin here to learn about the slots gaming industry in each U.S. gaming jurisdiction. This summary article links to 56 individual state-specific posts useful to slots players.
- Previous: Northern Mariana Islands Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019 – The Northern Mariana Islands slot machine casino gambling consists of 7 casinos, including 5 casinos on the island of Saipan and 2 casinos in San Jose on the island of Tinian. Cruise ship casinos are open while docked. Saipan’s Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel is Earth’s most profitable casino and owned by a China-based company.
- Next: Oklahoma Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019 – Oklahoma slot machine casino gambling consists of over a hundred tribal casinos and 2 pari-mutuel racinos. The WinStar World Casino and Resort is the world’s largest casino. Most casinos have a mix of Class II and Class III machines. No payout return limits have been set nor are payout return statistics publicly available.