Ohio’s casino revenues are well below what was projected to voters in 2009. Gross revenues are expected to fall short some $904 million over the two-year state budget period. While there is no definitive answer for why, there are many who blame the Internet cafes. There is no data to support such a claim, but it is estimated that Internet cafes account for nearly $1 billion wagered in a year.
A more telling sign that sweepstakes cafes are impacting casino revenues can be found in an analysis done by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. The OCCC found that slots only account for 70% of the casino revenues in Ohio, compared to 85% in Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Pennsylvania.
The casinos are not just falling short in the revenue area. Jobs created total about 6,000, which is 1,500 less than 2009 projections. Penn National has actually reduced staff at the Columbus and Toledo casinos by not replacing employees who leave.
This does not seem to be of much concern to casino or government officials. They state projections are just that, a mere guesstimate as to how many employees will be needed. Cleveland officials point out that the number of employees will likely double or triple once the second phase of its casino is completed.