Columbus casino was tops in Ohio in revenue in 2017

Hollywood Casino Columbus was the state’s top casino in 2017 based on revenue, marking the second year in a row it’s claimed the distinction, according to data released Monday by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Scioto Downs, the racino at the horse racing track on the South Side, remained the second highest-grossing racino in the state, behind Hard Rock Northfield Park in northeast Ohio.

Ohioans overall were in a gambling mood last year, resulting in increases in all but one of Ohio’s casinos and racinos. Only Jack Cleveland saw a slight decline in revenue year-over-year.

Statewide casino revenue increased by 2.6 percent in 2017 compared with 2016. Racinos continued to see even stronger gains, with a 7.1 percent increase year-over-year. Gaming experts attribute the popularity of racinos largely to their location: They are generally in more suburban locations that are perceived as easier to get to, easier to park at and safer than casinos in more urban locations.

Hollywood Casino Columbus on the West Side has continued to make improvements to operations and added perks to its loyalty program to continue attracting players, general manager Himbert Sinopoli said in an interview with The Dispatch ahead of the casino’s fifth anniversary last fall. Owned by Pennsylvania-based Penn National Gaming, the casino is able to offer trips to other Penn properties across the county as rewards to its best players. It also has added new restaurants in the past year, along with two covered outdoor slots areas where smoking is permitted.

Hollywood Casino spokesman Bob Tenenbaum said Monday that Penn National doesn’t “comment on the specifics of the monthly revenue announcements,” but said Penn continues “to be very pleased” with customer response to the casino.