View Full Version : Casino trouble in Columbus? Scioto Downs a thorn?

07-26-2013, 02:01 AM
Scioto Downs appears to be a thorn in the side of Penn National


"Several factors contributed to the poor quarter, said Peter Carlino, Penn’s chairman and CEO, during a conference call with Wall Street analysts yesterday. They included an overall gambling-industry malaise, extreme weather at some Penn sites and increased competition from new casinos.

And then there’s Ohio.

“The issue has largely been that Ohio has not ramped up as quickly as we had hoped for,” Carlino said.

However, he still believes, “in the end, these two properties (Hollywood Columbus and Toledo) will do everything we think they will do.”

Industry experts were not surprised that Penn officials were disappointed by the poor performance of their two Ohio casinos.

“We already knew from past reports that their revenues have not matched the projections,” said Alan Silver, an Ohio University assistant professor of restaurant, hotel and tourism and a former casino executive.

He cited the slow economic recovery as a reason casino revenue has declined in several states in recent months.

Silver also said the amount of free play awarded by Scioto Downs to slot players has helped it gain ground on Hollywood Columbus.

“People want free play. It brings people in,” Silver said.

Scioto Downs awarded $3.8 million in free play in June, compared with Hollywood Casino’s $2 million."