Racinos lead Ohio Lottery to record-breaking year, numbers expected to grow as more racinos open

CLEVELAND - The world of gambling changed dramatically in fiscal year 2013, ending with four casinos and two racinos in operation. The expansion may have cut into the Ohio Lottery's traditional games, but it also helped lead the lottery to its biggest year ever.

Lottery sales for the just-ended fiscal year hit $2.8 billion, surpassing the previous record set last year. As a result the Ohio Lottery transferred a record $803 million to the Lottery Profits Education Fund, which supports K-12 education in Ohio. That's up 4 percent over last year's $771 million.

The Ohio Lottery Commission oversees the VLT operations now open at Scioto Downs Racino in Columbus and ThistleDown Racino in North Randall.

The record numbers are only expected to grow in fiscal year 2014 as two more racinos prepare to open by the end of this year, including the Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield set to open in December. Three more will open in 2014.

"We're very proud of the profits we have generated this year in light of the competition for the gaming dollar with the opening of four new full-scale casinos and the proliferation of sweepstakes parlors. We will continue to offer new games at a variety of price points for our players," Lottery Director Dennis Berg said.

Racinos were responsible for part of the boost, but so was the growing popularity of the lottery's KENO games, which experienced a 20 percent jump in sales totaling $250 million.

The Ohio Lottery reached new heights with a record year-end transfer to education in the state of Ohio. Lottery sales for fiscal year 2013 hit $2.8 billion, which includes a boost in revenue from two new video lottery terminal (VLT) facilities.

The Ohio Lottery launched a mobile app in January allowing customers to connect to the lottery on the go. The app allows customers to check their tickets, find a retailer and watch KENO drawings on demand.

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