Virus Closing Slashes VLT Play at Hollywood Gaming

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – Digital slots play at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course had its worst month since the Austintown racino’s opening in September 2015, another casualty of the COVID-19 virus.

Penn National Gaming Inc., based in Wyomissing, Pa., closed all four of its Ohio gaming properties March 13, following Gov. Mike DeWine’s executive order banning gatherings of 100 people or more.   

As a result, credits played on video lottery terminals during the 13 days the Austintown racino was open in March totaled $49.95 million, down from $113.71 million in February and the racino’s record $118.99 million in March 2019. The drop in play ended Hollywood Gaming’s streak of 12 straight months with more than $100 million wagered.

The racino, which opened in September 2014, reported VLT play of $52.86 million for the month. 

Credits won at the Mahoning Valley racino in March totaled $44.38 million, down from $100.87 million in February and from $105.59 million in March 2019. 

Net win for the month totaled $4.82 million. Out of that, Penn National received $3.19 million as its commission for operating the racino and the Ohio Lottery Commission, which regulates VLT operations, received $1.61 million.

Net winnings were $11.14 million in February and $11.87 million in March 2019.

Statewide, March VLT wagers at the state’s 11 casinos and racetracks with the terminals totaled $448.72 million, down from $104 billion in February and $1.12 billion in March 2018.

According to the executive order, the state’s 11 casinos and racetracks with video lottery terminals are considered places of “mass gatherings” and are not allowed to accommodate more than 100 persons at once. Since Hollywood Casino Columbus, Hollywood Casino Toledo, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway and Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course collectively employ more than 2,000 team members, Penn National is left with no choice but to temporarily close those facilities.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.