Washington, DC – As the political world focuses on Cleveland this week for the Republican National Convention, Ohio is marking a major milestone for its growing gaming industry that includes a casino just steps from the Quicken Loans Arena. As the Columbus Dispatch reported last week, “Ohio's casinos have generated $1 billion in tax revenue — more than half of it going to cities and counties — since opening in 2012.” Revenue from the industry is supporting education (nearly $360 million), law enforcement ($21 million) and programs to help those struggling to gamble responsibly ($21 million).
“The Republican National Convention offers a chance to highlight the significant contributions, from $1 billion in tax revenue to nearly 18,000 good jobs, gaming makes to Cleveland and across Ohio,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA). “We’re proud to be strong community partners that support small businesses, charities, education, law enforcement in 40 states, including in critical presidential battleground states.”
FACTS ABOUT GAMING IN OHIO
- Gaming is a $3 billion industry that supports nearly 18,000 jobs and generates more than $900 million in tax revenues in Ohio each year.
- JACK Cleveland Casino – located just steps from the site of the RNC at Quicken Loans Arena – is a top 15 private sector employer in Cuyahoga County.
- In Cleveland, gaming was the key to reaching a deal to revitalize Public Square, the central plaza of downtown. “The Public Square transformation is another great example of public and private sectors working together and building the city's momentum.”
- In Columbus, home of Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Columbus, “signs of revival [are] adding up around [the] casino on West Side; businesses open or renovate, and infrastructure improves. If it wasn’t for the casino, none of this would have happened,” said the president of the West Side’s economic-development organization.
- In Toledo, home of Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Toledo, local officials are praising the casino: “Thank God we at least had the casino.” “A very positive experience.” “It’s attracted visitors we wouldn’t normally get.” “Casino revenue has filled a significant void.” “It certainly is an asset to us.”
- In Cincinnati, home of JACK Cincinnati Casino, a local tourism official raved about the impact of the casino: “You're talking tens of thousands of room nights and 100,000 more visitors. It's huge for our local economy.”
AGA’s Gaming Votes initiative highlights the fact that in presidential battleground states, casino gaming supports more than half-a-million jobs and contributes $75 billion to local communities. AGA has taken a lead role in educating presidential candidates, as well as federal and local leaders, on the pivotal role gaming plays in providing middle class jobs and driving economic growth. Last fall, AGA hosted a Gaming Votes event at Penn National’s Hollywood Columbus with Reps. Joyce Beatty and Steve Stivers to tout the benefits of gaming in the crucial swing state.
About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $240 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to be the single most effective champion of the industry, relentlessly protecting against harmful and often misinformed public policies, and paving a pathway for growth, innovation and reinvestment.