Hollywood Casino Toledo in Ohio is expanding its facility in anticipation of legal sports wagering in the state, set to launch this year. Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine signed House Bill 29 into law in December, a move expected to help the state compete with neighboring states which have already legalized their markets, including Indiana and Michigan.
The casino’s general manager, Brad Hirsch, said the launch of sports betting couldn’t come at a better time, as the Penn National-operated facility is in the middle of an expansion. The redevelopment efforts will include a Barstool Sportsbook for retail sports wagering.
"We've got our current casino expansion going on right now and that'll be completed in February which is our new outdoor gaming terrace and this will be the next phase we go into by building a new sportsbook," Hirsch said, according to WTOL11.
The executive further claimed that the new facility would help the state retain sports bettors currently going to neighboring states for wagering, while also keeping revenue closer to home. "For those customers who have been going to Michigan from our area, it's a chance to keep them home and create additional revenue, jobs, and opportunity in the area," he said.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill legalizing sports betting into law in December, thus finally bringing sporting events wagering to the Buckeye State after a years-long process that included several false starts.
The bill, which allows betting in a wide range of sporting events, including college games, stipulates the market to open by no later than January 1, 2023. However, it is expected the market could launch well before that, with venues starting to take bets in 2022.
The state’s new law indicates casinos, stadiums, bars and restaurants will all have the ability to apply for gambling licenses. The Ohio Casino Control Commission, which estimated it could start accepting applications from businesses “in the summer or fall of 2022,” is set to regulate the industry.
The state’s nascent sports gaming market is expected to report $3.35 billion after several years of operation, according to an Ohio Legislative Service Commission estimate. Sports betting will be subjected to a 10% tax on net revenue, which could bring in $7 million during the first half of 2023, and $24 million in the first full fiscal year.
Located in Toledo, on Miami Street, just off I-75 on the banks of the Maumee River, Hollywood Casino Toledo opened in 2012. It features 125,000 square feet of gaming space, with more than 2,000 slot machines, 60 table games, and 20 poker tables. It also features 5 restaurants and live entertainment.
Ohio casinos and racinos marked a new record in 2021, with $2.31 billion in gambling revenue, according to figures released by the Ohio Casino Control Commission and the Ohio Lottery Commission earlier this month. The figures see revenue up $37 million when compared to 2019.