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Cleveland-area racino leads slots take in Ohio

CLEVELAND (AP) — Slots-style video lottery terminals are a big winner for a Cleveland-area racino also offering betting on horse races, an industry that will grow with five more outlets over the next year in Ohio.

ThistleDown Racino, owned by the Rock Ohio Caesars operation that runs casinos in Cincinnati and Cleveland, grossed an Ohio-best average of $361 daily last month from its 1,150 machines.

Such an average would be great in any market, gambling researcher David Schwartz at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

ThistleDown's average daily take has increased on a consistent basis — up from $327 in July.

ThistleDown opened in April as Ohio's second racino. The Scioto Downs racino opened last year in Columbus.

Racinos are scheduled to open in December in Lebanon northeast of Cincinnati and Northfield north of Akron. Racinos also are planned in the Youngstown, Cincinnati and Dayton areas, all opening next year, according to the Ohio Lottery, which oversees the racino industry.

The geographical configuration of the racinos was designed to spread out gambling locations in Ohio for competitive reasons.

Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati's average slots take ranked second in Ohio last month at $212 per day.

The others were the Cleveland casino at $194, Hollywood Casino Toledo at $185, Scioto Downs at $172 and Hollywood Casino Columbus at $149.

State regulators reported Thursday the Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo casinos saw revenue increases in October. The Cincinnati casino's revenues declined 8 percent.

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