Updated Tue, Jul 8, 2014 11:46 am
Cleveland’s Horseshoe Casino continues to show a decline in revenues. New June figures from the Ohio Casino Control Commission show a 12 percent decrease compared to last year, and a 35 percent drop from 2012.
Horseshoe operators at Caesar’s Entertainment say don’t read too much into the numbers. They say June is typically slow for casinos in some areas, as people go on vacation.
Spokeswoman Shannon Mortland did add that the gaming field has gotten pretty crowded.
“In June 2012, Horseshoe Cleveland was the only gaming destination in the area," Mortland said. "The landscape has changed quite a bit in that time. You’ve probably noticed that we opened our own Thistledown Racino, and of course, the Hard Rock Racino opened just down the street from Thistledown. So there are more gaming destinations in town, this year.”
As to phase two of the Horseshoe Casino – which would extend it to the shore of the Cuyahoga River – Mortland says there’s no set timeline.
“No one should expect that new casino to be open any time, for the foreseeable future," Larkin said.
Brent Larkin is a columnist for the Plain Dealer and its former editorial director. He’s long-criticized the casino industry’s campaign in Ohio. He says no one should be surprised at the latest revenue numbers, given the regional competition that goes beyond a few neighboring racinos.
“Areas east of the Mississippi, and above the Mason-Dixon line, are saturated now with casino gambling," Larkin said. "In the east, casinos are beginning to close there’s so many for them. And Ohio is surrounded - except for Kentucky - with casino gaming.”
The Horseshoe’s June numbers are comparable to February’s. Collectively, all of Ohio’s voter-approved casinos have drawn more than $409 million so far this year, about $3 million less than this time in 2013.