Racino posts big numbers in first 2 weeks

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The racino in Austintown posted some big numbers for the month, earning about $3.9 million in just the first two weeks it was open in September.

Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course opened its doors to the public on Sept. 17. Numbers released Tuesday by the Ohio Lottery show close to $53 million has been played and nearly $47 million has been won, which is about an 88 percent payout.

To compare, Hollywood Gaming’s net win at its Dayton racino the entire month of September, is almost identical to its take at Mahoning Valley in 14 days. A Penn National Gaming spokesperson said it will take at least a year or two before they can get a handle on how well the racino is doing and if Penn National can sustain that level of revenue.

The average payout per day for the facility’s 850 VLTs was $499. To view the report, click here.

The racino’s net proceeds in two weeks is about $6 million, with the racino getting $3.9 million, the Ohio Lottery receiving $1.9 million and nearly $20,000 going toward problem gambling services.

The people we spoke with are betting this playing pace will continue.

“People are gambling more and more, cause the economy sucks so bad. We’re just digging at straws, we’re hoping,” Sue Nelson of Cuyahoga Falls said as she was leaving the racino on Tuesday evening. “It started off good and then instead of leaving when we should, we got greedy and stayed too long and lost it all.”

“There is plenty of gamblers in the Mahoning Valley, so I think it will sustain and it will be here for years to come,” Raheem Nubani of Braceville said.

“I just came with somebody from Cleveland and some other friends from Austintown and they spent money today,” Carol Burich of Austintown said.

Austintown Township Trustee Jim Davis said Penn National’s deal with the township has nothing to do with how much money is bet or paid out. As long as Hollywood Gaming is in operation, the township will get $500,000 annually.

The township already has gotten $2 million up front for infrastructure and discretionary use. Of that, $1 million was used solely for road paving.

The racino features 850 video lottery terminals, simulcast races from around the country, and a 1-mile track and grandstand, with live thoroughbred racing starting Nov. 24.

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