Ohio’s gaming industry timeline

By
From the January 2014 issue of Columbus CEO

1933: The Ohio General Assembly approves pari-mutuel wagering on horse races; the Ohio Racing Commission is established. The commission oversees commercial horseracing, county fair harness racing and simulcasts.

1973: By a 2-to-1 margin, Ohio voters approve a ballot issue creating the Ohio Lotto Commission. State senator Ron Mottl launched a lotto campaign in 1971; tickets for the first Buckeye 300 game went on sale in 1974.

1987: Ohio voters approve the constitutional amendment permanently channeling lottery profits for state education funding.

2008: The Ohio Lottery Commission rolls out the KENO game in bars and other outlets; in 2012, the commission allows licensed lottery retailers to sell KENO.

Oct. 2009: Ohio’s Office of Budget and Management and the Department of Taxation estimate that, once open, the four casinos will generate annual tax revenues of $643 million ($470 million if seven video lottery terminal facilities open).

Nov. 2009: 52% of Ohio voters pass Ohio Issue 3, legalizing gambling at four casinos to be located in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo. The governor-appointed, seven-member Ohio Casino Control Commission is created. In 2011, Matthew Schuler is appointed executive director.

May 2012: Penn National Gaming opens the Hollywood Casino Toledo with 2,045 slot machines, 60 gaming tables and 20 poker tables on a 125,000 square-foot gaming floor. Horseshoe Casino Cleveland opens with 1,900 slots, 89 gaming tables and 30 poker tables on a 96,000 square-foot gaming floor.

June 2012: The racino at Scioto Downs opens as the first licensed video lottery terminal (VLT) retailer in Columbus.

Oct. 2012: Hollywood Casino Columbus opens with 2,525 slot machines, 79 gaming tables and 36 poker tables on a 200,000 square-foot floor.

March 2013: Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati opens with 2,000 slot machines, 87 gaming tables and 31 poker tables on a 100,000 square-foot gaming floor.

June 2013: Governor John Kasich signs into law strict rules on the operation and registration of Internet gambling cafes. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Ohio Attorney General have jurisdiction over their licensing and operation.

Sept. 2013: The Ohio Casino Control Commission approves Penn National Gaming’s separation into two publicly traded companies. The new REIT entity, Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. owns substantially all of PNG’s 28 property assets in 18 jurisdictions. The OCCC licenses GLPI as gaming-related vendor; the new company will lease its Ohio gaming properties back to their PNG’s subsidiary operators.

(Sources: The Columbus Dispatch; Ohio Casino Control Commission 2013 Annual Report; Ohio Lottery Commission; Ohio Office of Budget and Management/ Ohio Department of Taxation Analysis of 2009 Ohio Casino Initiative.)