Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg unveiled a $2.4 million extension of its Barstool Sports Book on Wednesday, just in time for March Madness, adding slot machines, table games, and more food choices to the sports betting parlor that debuted in 2019.
It’s an effort to retain client loyalty as Ohio prepares to compete against Indiana with a slew of new wagering alternatives available in sports stadiums, restaurants, pubs, and on mobile devices. Oh, and there are also casinos.
When Indiana became the 13th state to authorize sports betting three years ago, the Hollywood property received a much-needed lift. In its heyday, the 25-year-old casino brought in more than $400 million each year, but it hasn’t made more than $200 million since 2014, when Ohio’s 11 casinos and racinos were fully operational.
Last year, Hollywood responded by becoming Indiana’s top-performing retail sportsbook, bringing in $15.5 million in revenue.
How Does this Sportsbook Compare?
Of course, its profits pale in comparison to those made by the industry’s dominant sports betting applications. With a combined $137 million in gross revenues (the money gambling operators retain after all bets are settled), DraftKings and FanDuel control two-thirds of the online industry in Indiana.
Indiana’s total handle, or how much money gamblers gambled, was $3 billion, with online sports bookies accounting for 86 percent of it. Ohio, which is crafting laws to introduce multiple new sports-betting alternatives by January 1, 2023, has joined the fray. Up to five retail outlets and up to 25 statewide license holders will be able to provide mobile betting applications in Hamilton County.
Hard Rock Casino and Belterra Park, both in downtown, are anticipated to apply for licenses. The Cincinnati Reds and FC Cincinnati are both in the same boat. At addition, the Ohio Lottery will install sports-gaming kiosks in around 2,500 taverns and restaurants throughout the state, with many likely within a 40-minute drive of the Hollywood Casino.
What Will the Ohio Sports Betting Look Like?
“I’d estimate Ohio to be double the size of Indiana,” said John Atkinson, development director for 888 Holdings, a UK-based online gambling company that introduced a mobile betting platform with Sports Illustrated last year. “However, it won’t happen straight away. It might take two or three years for it to happen.”
After competing states introduced additional choices to the market, most states have continued to expand their sports-betting income, according to Atkinson. With Ohio’s opening, Kentucky would be the only border state without sports betting, although a measure to authorize sports betting passed a Kentucky House committee this week.
Rep. Adam Koenig of Erlanger, the bill’s sponsor, estimated that sports betting could yield more than $22 million in additional tax income for Kentucky, based on a three-year-old projection that gamblers would place roughly $2 billion in bets each year.
Could Kentucky be First?
If the law passes before the current session of the General Assembly ends on April 14, Kentucky’s sports-betting sector might be up and operating before Ohio.
With fresh dangers on the horizon, Hollywood Casino is up to the task. They are hoping to be the first one in, but they know that anything can happen with the law.
What Will the New Development Look Like?
With over 50 new slot machines and electronic table games, 20 self-service betting kiosks, five new blackjack tables, and a new VIP betting window, the new sportsbook is almost twice as huge as its 4,400-square-foot predecessor. A new menu and 50 extra chairs were added to the eating area. The development will add 14 additional positions to the property’s overall workforce of 700.
“We decided let’s make this all-encompassing as we grew,” Galle remarked. “Let’s make it easy for our sportsbook gamers by eliminating the need for them to go to the casino floor.” Let’s bring some board games in. Let’s bring in some gambling machines. Let’s bring in the games they want to play in this location.”
Sportsbook gamblers, according to Galle, “skew younger” than slot players, who account for the majority of a casino’s earnings. He thinks that around 1,000 gamblers in Penn National’s loyalty-card database play at Barstool Sports on a regular basis. As Ohio opponents heat up, he hopes to increase that number.
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