ccording to figures reported Friday by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, Columbus’ Hollywood Casino appears to be rebounding from the financial downturn caused by the COVID-19 closure.
In July, the casino’s first full month of operation since the start of the pandemic, Hollywood Casino generated $18.1 million in total revenue, Columbus Business First reports.
That’s only 4% less than what the casino generated in July of last year, an impressive feat considering the rest of Central Ohio’s tourism industry is struggling with fewer tourists, canceled events and no conventions.
Before the pandemic hit, Hollywood Casino earned more than $20 million in revenue in both January and February of this year.
Hollywood Casino brought in an average of about $19 million monthly in 2019.
Hollywood Casino’s parent company, Penn National Gaming, which owns properties in 19 states, reported lower-than-expected losses for shareholders this week, noting the “pent-up demand” in the sector in a call with investors.
“Although visitation has yet to return to pre-Covid levels, in large part due to state-mandated capacity restrictions and limited amenities, spend per visit has been notably strong, up 45%, resulting in better-than-expected revenues,” Jay Snowden, president and CEO of Penn National Gaming, told investors this week. “And importantly, we've seen a significant increase in unrated play and growth from a younger demographic.”
In March, when it had a partial month of operation, Hollywood Casino brought in $8.4 million. It also brought in about $8.5 million in June, when it was only open for the last 12 days of the month.
Dave Williams, chief financial officer for the company, said Penn National's casinos reopened “with a more efficient and profitable operating model.”
Statewide, Ohio casino revenue is hovering just under $300 million so far this year through July.
July revenue from all four of the state's casinos combined was $86 million, more than 22% higher than the same month in 2019.
Besides Columbus, the other casinos are the Jack Cleveland Casino, Hard Rock in Cincinnati and Hollywood Casino Toledo.
Since reopening, Hollywood Casino has been following new health and safety protocols, including spaced-out slot machines, limited seating at table tables, and reduced capacity.
Face masks are required at the casino for all guests and staff members.