CLEVELAND, Ohio - Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday gave Ohio’s multibillion dollar casino and racino industry the go ahead to reopen in two weeks after more than three months of closings over coronavirus safety concerns.
That follows the announcement that movie theaters will open starting on June 10.
Ohio’s four casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo, and seven racinos scattered across the state closed March 14 after being ordered to limit attendance to a combined total of 100 guests and employees at a time. Since then restrictions were placed on gatherings of more than 10 people.
With no money coming in, the industry that was off to a record start for the year had fallen by the end of last month nearly $400 million behind 2019 for gambling revenue. This is the money “won” by the facilities after paying at winnings, a third of which is then sent to the state in the form of taxes or fees.
Revenue through May stood at $410.8 million, down from $809.5 million for the first five months of 2019.
The busiest of the facilities in Ohio is MGM Northfield Park, located between Cleveland and Akron. Slots revenue there is $55.1 million for the year, down from $106.5 million through May 2019.
DeWine gave the go-ahead Thursday for tmovie theaters to reopen.
Regal Cinemas said in a statement last month it anticipates to open all locations in July in time for the release of “Tenet.”
AMC Theatres hasn’t announced reopening plans yet, though the company expressed “substantial doubt” about its future in a SEC filing this week.
Movie theaters have been closed since March 16.