January VLT Revenue Down 6.2% at Austintown Racino

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Revenue from video lottery terminals at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course was down 6.2% in January compared to December, about twice as much as the statewide drop.

In January, according to the Ohio Lottery Commission, which oversees VLT operations in the state, bettors played credits worth $64.6 million in January at the Austintown racino, down from $68.9 million in December. The racino opened in September. To date, wagers at Mahoning Valley have totaled $333.1 million.

Penn National Gaming Inc. of Wyomissing, Pa., which operates the racino, does not comment in detail on monthly numbers, says spokesman Bob Tenenbaum. However, he points out, December was only the Austintown racino’s third full month in operation. “That’s still part of the grand opening, which always has much higher numbers,” he says. Inclement weather last month also likely had an impact on revenues, he adds.

By comparison, statewide VLT revenues were down 3.1% in January from December. Last month, credits played on Ohio VLTs totaled $683.6 million, down 3.1% from December’s $711.4 million.

Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, which opened the month before Mahoning Valley, reported credits played in January of $67.2 million, down 1.4% from December’s $68.1 million.

Penn National “has indicated it is very pleased with the performance of both Mahoning Valley and Dayton,” Tenenbaum says.

On a conference call last week, Penn National’s president and CEO, Timothy Wilmott, said both the Mahoning Valley and Dayton operations were performing to expectations “and we’re very pleased with the start that we’ve gotten at both.”

Jay Snowden, Penn National’s chief operating officer, said the company is modeling its expectations for Mahoning Valley on Toledo’s performance, given the “limited competition” in the market.

“We’re happy with the results. We’re happy with the margins,” Snowden said. “We’re just in that post-opening stabilization mode and we anticipate being able to grow the top line from here.”

During the month of January, credits won at Mahoning Valley totaled $57.4 million, down from $61.2 million in December. Promotional play credits totaled $324,980, down from $537,461. The net win — net revenues remaining after payout of prizes to players — was $6.9 million last month, down from $7.2 million in December.

The racino commission, which is the portion of net win paid to Penn National as compensation for operating the racino, was $4.6 million, down from $4.7 million in December. The amount retained by the Ohio Lottery last month was $2.3 million, down from $2.4 million the month before.

Percent payout in January was 89.3% at Mahoning Valley, down from 90.6% the month before. The average number of VLTs in operation was the same for both December and January, 866, while the average win per VLT per day in January was $257, compared with $267 in December.

Copyright 2015 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

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