Ohio Gaming Law

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Recent Blog Posts

  • The last week of January brought news of a unique deal between casino operator Penn National Gaming, owner of two casinos and two racinos in Ohio, and Barstool Sports. Penn National will make an initial investment of $163 million for a 36% interest in the Barstool Sports media company. The initial $163 million investment consists of approximately $135 million in cash and approximately $28 million in shares of non-voting convertible preferred Penn stock. Additionally, under the terms of the deal, Penn will... More
  • Last year, two competing bills were introduced that would authorize and regulate sports betting in Ohio. House Bill 194 was introduced by Representatives Dave Greenspan and Brigid Kelly. Senate Bill 111 was introduced by Senators John Eklund and Sean O’Brien. The House bill received eight hearings in 2019 while the Senate Bill only received two but neither has received a hearing since the first week of November 2019. While the process has slowed down in Ohio it is highly unlikely that... More
  • The first month of 2020 was an exceptional one for Ohio’s casinos and racinos which shattered their previous January record high for gambling revenue. The casinos and racinos combined for $167 million in gambling revenue up 19% from the previous high set last year of $140.7 million. Each year the casinos and racinos have increased their January gambling revenue over the previous year but never by such a high margin. Hollywood Casino Columbus had the best January of Ohio’s Casinos bringing... More
  • Six states started sports betting in 2018. Revenues fell short of projections in four of the states. Several reasons why. Among them – slower than expected rollout, lack of online betting and even the Super Bowl. Rhode Island projected monthly revenues of $1 million. The reality – about $50,000 a month. Rhode Island is the only New England state that offers sports betting. Who’s going to bet against Tom Brady and the Pats who, as expected, covered the spread in a... More
  • While Ohio mulls over legalizing sports betting, virtually every surrounding state either has a law on the books or proposed legislation on the fast track. Pennsylvania and West Virginia have already legalized sports betting. In Kentucky, a House panel has passed a bill that would allow sports betting at approved locations such as a licensed horse racing track or the Kentucky Speedway. In person and via an app would be permitted. The bill still has to make its way through the rest... More
  • The Ohio House and Senate have each introduced their own version of how sports betting should be regulated in the state. The Senate came first, introducing Senate Bill 111 in March. The House followed by introducing House Bill 194 in early April. There are differences between the two bills. Among the differences: The Senate bill calls for the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) to regulate sports betting, where revenues would go to the state’s General Revenue Fund. The House bill would... More
  • Hard Rock International and VICI Properties have agreed to purchase the JACK Cincinnati casino and Turfway Park for $780 million. Hard Rock, which will run operations at both establishments, will buy JACK Cincinnati. VICI Properties will buy Turfway Park, which is located in Florence, KY. VICI will enter into a leased fee agreement with Hard Rock. The deal is expected to close in late 2019. JACK Cincinnati had a record year in 2018 with revenue of $203.5 million, but still lagged... More
  • Sweepstakes cafes were all the rage in the early 2010s. A law enacted in 2013 seemingly put them out of business by banning cash prizes. 2013 and 2014 saw a statewide crackdown on these illegal gambling establishments. In 2014 the Ohio General Assembly gave the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) authority over internet cafes, which adapted their business by adding an element of skill. In 2018, the OCCC developed regulations for these “skill game parlors.” August 2018 was the deadline for... More
  • In July 2018, Federal law enforcement and the Ohio Casino Control Commission executed a number of search warrants in Stark County. Sixteen individuals and eight businesses were accused of illegal gambling. Now it appears the Feds are looking to cash in on those raids. The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio has filed two civil forfeiture complaints, asking $2.9 million in cash, three houses, four vehicles, jewelry, silver bars, two Rolex watches and some other items be forfeited to... More
  • Name change was effective April 1. MGM Resorts International purchased the operating assets of Hard Rock from its sister company MGM Growth Properties, which purchased Hard Rock in 2018 for $1 billion. This is the largest racino in Ohio. Facilities also underwent name changes. The Hard Rock Café is now the TAP Sports Bar, Constant Grind (a bistro) becomes The Roasted Bean, Center Bar becomes the Center Bar and Lounge, Fresh Harvest Buffet will now be known as The Buffet, Hard Rock... More