The numbers are in and racetrack casinos, at least in five states, are in the winner’s circle.
According to the American Gaming Association’s "State of the States" survey of casino entertainment, racetrack casinos from Delaware, New Mexico, Iowa, Rhode Island and West Virginia generated $2.1 billion in revenue and $577.9 million for state and local governments.
Delaware, which has three racetracks with electronic gaming, was the leader with $185.6 million and $166.8 million respectively.
The study says that nationwide 433 commercial casinos operated in 11 states last year. The gross gaming revenue was up 5 percent to $25.7 billion.
A sixth state, Louisiana, is on the list, but Delta Downs didn’t begin operations until February. Delta Downs, which employs about 700 people, generated more than $32 million in gross revenue from Feb. 13 to April 30 of this year, according to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
The nationwide AGA study revealed that lotteries were the most popular form of gambling among consumers at 48 percent.
Casinos were next at 28 percent, followed by sports betting (20 percent), horse and dog racing (8 percent) and Internet wagering (3 percent).
Ohio nixes VLTs
The state of Ohio is not ready for video lottery terminals at the seven racetracks.
The Senate and House, in view of Gov. Bob Taft’s opposition to VLTs, included a 31-cent increase in the cigarette tax and expenditure of the last $608 million from the state’s rainy day fund.
The governor’s stand killed proposed legislation from Ohio state Sen. Louis Blessing, who backed having VLTs at tracks to help offset the budgetary crunch.
"While I am fairly certain there’s a majority of votes, people didn’t want to address it at this time," Blessing said. "I expect early next year, January 1, that we will introduce and pass a VLT bill."