Ohio Tracks With VLTs Have Productive May

Ohio’s two operating racetrack casinos reported revenue increases in May when compared with the previous month, according to Ohio Lottery Commission documents.

ThistleDown Racino, as Thistledown racetrack is now called, had a net win of $10.95 million from video lottery terminals in May. That’s up roughly $3 million from $7.95 million in April; the VLT operation opened April 9 in the Cleveland suburb of North Randall.

Scioto Downs Racino, which opened in June 2012, reported net gains of $7.69 million in May, up from $7.55 million in April. May was the Columbus facility’s second-best month so far in calendar year 2013.

Combined, the two tracks in fiscal year 2013, which began last July 1, have generated $48.10 million for the state through taxes and $95.63 million in commissions. The tracks, which serve as VLT agents for the lottery commission, keep most of that amount.

Though the racetrack VLT law passed in 2011 and was modified in 2012, horsemen and racetracks in Ohio still have no agreed-upon revenue split for purses and breed development. The 2012 cleanup law sets the range at 9%-11%.

When it opened last summer, Scioto Downsthrough a deal with the Ohio State Racing Commissionset aside 9% of VLT revenue in an escrow account and has used some of that money to increase purses. Rock Ohio Gaming doubled purses when Thistledown began its live meet in April. But horsemen pulled their consent for the track to export its signal outside of Ohio pending a deal on VLT revenue.

Based on the minimum of 9%, purses at the two tracks have earned a combined $8.6 million from VLT gaming in 10 months of fiscal year 2013.

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