Cold January takes bite out of casino revenues, down nearly 20 percent at Horseshoe Cleveland

CLEVELAND - The deep cold of January was reflected in casino figures released Friday which showed the Horseshoe Cleveland down 19.5 percent from January, 2013 with revenues after all bets were paid of $16.6 million.

The casino was closed for a day and a half early in the month because of the extreme cold which accounts for nearly five percent of the month's operating hours. The loss likely would have been greater were it not for the opening of the casino's skywalk from its parking garage.

The drop was mirrored by the Hollywood Casinos in Toledo, down 19.2 percent at $11.5 million and Columbus down 16.4 percent over last January at $14.2 million.

The cold though didn't appear to keep Cleveland table game players away with casino revenue dropping only 1.3 percent over January of last year with the Horseshoe taking in $7.5 million after all bets were paid.

The bulk of the casino's drop in revenue came from slots, which were down 30 percent from $13 million last January to $9.1 million.

That year to year Horseshoe slide more a reflection of the opening of ThistleDown Racino and Hard Rock Rocksino than the weather.

Video lottery terminal (VLT) revenue released for January showed the Hard Rock brought in $12.8 million in its first full month of operation while ThistleDown brought in $8.9 million which was down $1.8 million from December or 16.8 percent.

That being said the combined slots/VLT take of Rock Ohio Caesars owned Horseshoe and ThistleDown was $18 million, which was up nearly $5 million or 38 percent from what the Horseshoe took in alone in January 2013.

The slots/VLT take of all three properties, including Hard Rock, was $30.8 million, showing despite the weather the slots market in Northeast Ohio was up more than 20 percent over the previous monthly high.

Despite the apparent loss of revenue and customers to Hard Rock, ThistleDown continues to lead the state in terms of revenue brought in daily per machine.

While falling below a daily take of $300 per machine for the first time since it opened in April of last year, it's $250 figure still topped the daily win per machine totals of all Ohio casinos and racinos including Horseshoe Cleveland, $181 and Hard Rock $184.

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