Casino revenue in Ohio dipped 2% in July, reaching $203.5 million. Before anyone goes all Chicken Little on us, that’s 25% higher than gambling win in 2019. So Ohio’s is a nice problem to have. MGM Northfield Park waxed the competition, garnering $27 million and gaining 6.5%. The only other revenue-positive properties were Jack Thistledown ($16 million, +1.5%) and Hollywood Dayton ($13 million, +2%). Best of the rest was Hollywood Columbus, flat at $23 million. Jack Cleveland continues to impress with $22 million, despite a 3.5% slippage. Hard Rock Cincinnati (pictured) slid 5% but still grossed a respectable $21 million. Bunched together were Miami Valley Gaming ($20 million, -2%), Scioto Downs ($20 million, -5%) and Hollywood Toledo ($20 million, -3.5%).
As for the rest of the racinos, the hardest blow fell on Belterra Park, which tumbled 11% to $7.5 million. Hollywood Mahoning Valley rounded the state out with $14 million (-2%). Sports betting handle of $331.5 million boiled down to $37 million in revenue, of which $11 million went back out in promotions. FanDuel led with $14 million, trailed slightly by DraftKings‘ $12 million. Also betting a piece of the action were BetMGM ($3 million), Bet365 ($3 million) and Caesars Sportsbook ($1 million). Barstool Sportsbook and Fanatics both fell short of the $1 million cutoff.
We can’t leave the subject of failed sports betting apps without dwelling a bit on WynnBet, down and almost certainly out. A couple of weeks back it announced a rollout in eight states of an upgraded experience—only to retreat, tail between legs, from those eight states before that week was out. Wynn Resorts had decided that the game was literally not worth the toss. Why has WynnBet’s uppance come (to borrow a Stewie Griffin saying)? The business plan was someone between overly optimistic and politically naive. It seems that the future of WynnBet was predicated on faster adoption of i-casinos in the U.S., something to which even Nevada politicians are deathly allergic. For CFO Julie Cameron-Doe to shake her fist at a “dearth of i-gaming legislation in the U.S.” seems unobservant. Sheldon Adelson‘s lasting legacy has been to make legislators fearful of i-gaming, lest it be their downfall.
Had Wynn been paying attention, its execs would have noticed a discrepancy between the rapid adoption of sports betting and the tortoise-powered progress of Internet casinos. Wynn Resorts made a bad bet and is, sensibly, now licking its wounds. Wynn is even shuttering operations in i-gaming-enabled states like West Virginia and New Jersey. Its sports betting ops in Michigan and New York are hanging by a thread, leaving only the Silver State and Massachusetts—not coincidentally, the two places where it has retail sports books. So there’s a chance that some iteration of WynnBet could survive, in chastened form, but Wynn is more likely to take a page from Boyd Gaming and partner for a revenue share with an established operator who will shoulder most of the risk. It sure worked for Boyd.
Speaking of an ill-marketed product, Bally’s Corp. can’t seem to figure out the difference betwwen Philadelphia, Mississippi, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It keeps promoting flagship Bally’s Vicksburg to the City of Brotherly Love. Seriously, is anybody going to hop a flight from Philly to a tertiary market in the deep South in order to win the “$40,000 Ultimate Man Cave Giveaway.” And if you do win, good luck getting that recliner onto the flight back, bub. Shouldn’t some of that marketing brainpower be dedicated into pushing Bally’s Atlantic City? Then again, asking Bally’s to behave logically is a mighty tall order.
As long as we’re on the subject of Atlantic City, the Biden administration has floated a cockamamie plan to house homeless migrants at Atlantic City International and 10 other locations in the Northeast. This comes in response to calls for help from New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D), who’s feeling a mite overwhelmed these days. Without taking up the tar baby that is the immigration issue, we will say it’s not much of a deal for A.C.: It gets migrants from NYC and loses gambling revenue to the Big Apple in a couple of years. Other mooted locations include a former IRS building and a variety of military-reserve bases. Oh, and a small airport right on the Canadian border. (Hmmmm …) New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) wasn’t terribly helpful, huffing, “We cannot and will not force other parts of our state to shelter migrants, nor are we going to be asking these migrants to move to other parts of the state against their will.” Both migrant advocates and business leaders seem distressed that the potential employees can’t be put to work soon enough. Warehousing them outside Atlantic City is unlikely to help.