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Major events in Ohio gaming history


Randall Park opens


Beulah Park and Northampton Park open


River Downs opens
Thistledown Park opens in July


Pari-mutuel wagering is legalized


Northampton Park is renamed Ascot Park


Randall Park reopens after a four-year hiatus


Thistledown’s grandstand and clubhouse are destroyed by fire in October


Lebanon Raceway opens in May


Thistledown reopens in September


Northfield Park opens in August


Raceway Park opens with Thoroughbred racing
Scioto Downs opens in October


Cranwood dates are transferred to Thistledown and the track closes


Raceway Park begins harness racing


Last year of racing at Randall Park; its dates go to Thistledown in 1968


Last year of racing at Ascot Park; its dates go to Thistledown in 1969


Voters approve a constitutional amendment authorizing a state lottery


The Lottery begins ticket sales in August


In April, the Lottery launches Ohio Lotto, its first lotto game


Voters approve a constitutional amendment permanently sending Lottery proceeds to benefit education


The Lottery launches Buckeye 5


Intra-state intertrack wagering begins


Off-track wagering is legalized


Full-card simulcasting is legalized


The first OTB facility, Cedar Downs, opens in Sandusky in October


Ohio’s second OTB facility, Mifflin Meadows, opens in March


The Lottery joins the Mega Millions group


Rolling Cash 5 replaces Buckeye 5 in October
Charitable gaming licensing functions are transferred to the Lottery


Mifflin Meadows OTB closes in January


VLTs at racetracks are approved by the state legislature in June but legal challenges lead to a delay in implementation
In November, voters approve a constitutional amendment authorizing four casinos, one each in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo


Casino legislation is signed in June


VLT legislation is finalized in July, along with provisions for racetrack relocation


Horseshoe Casino Cleveland opens May 14
Hollywood Casino Toledo opens May 29
Scioto Downs opens its casino with VLTs on June 1
Hollywood Casino Columbus opens October 8


Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati opens March 4
ThistleDown opens its VLT casino on April 9
Miami Valley Gaming (the new home of Lebanon Raceway) opens its VLT casino on December 12
Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park opens on December 18


Belterra Park (formerly River Downs) opens its VLT casino on May 1
Beulah Park closes in May; its racing license is moved to Mahoning Valley (Youngstown)
Raceway Park closes in June; its racing license is moved to Dayton Raceway
Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway opens its VLT casino on August 28
Hollywood Gaming Mahoning Valley opens its VLT casino on September 17
Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway begins live racing on October 3
Mahoning Valley begins live racing on November 24


The Lottery joins the multi-state Lucky for Life game in November


Casinos and casino-style gaming

Voters approved an amendment authorizing four casinos, one each in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, in November 2009. The first, Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, opened on May 14, 2012; it was followed by Hollywood Casino Toledo on May 29 and Hollywood Casino Columbus on October 8. Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati was the last to open on March 4, 2013. The two Horseshoe casinos were rebranded with the Jack name in 2016.

Legislation authorizing video lottery terminals at the state’s seven racetracks was finalized in July 2011 after originally approved in 2009. The first racetrack casino to open was Scioto Downs in Columbus. VLTs are operated by the Ohio Lottery.

Jack Cincinnati Casino - 1,948 slots, 117 tables
Jack Cleveland Casino - 1,583 slots, 125 tables
Hollywood Casino Columbus - 2,242 slots, 104 tables
Hollywood Casino Toledo - 2,041 slots, 78 tables

Racetrack casinos:
Belterra Park - 1,370 VLTs
Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park - 2,262 VLTs
Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway - 1.007 VLTs
Hollywood Gaming Mahoning Valley - 986 VLTs
Miami Valley Gaming - 1,711 VLTs
Scioto Downs Casino and Racetrack - 2,247 VLTs
Jack Thistledown Racino - 1,327 VLTs

Ohio Casino Control Commission
10 West Broad Street, 6th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone (855) 800-0058

Ohio Lottery Commission


The Ohio Lottery began ticket sales in August 1974. The current game offerings include instant tickets, Powerball, Mega Millions, Classic Lotto with Kicker, Lucky for Life, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Rolling Cash 5, Keno and EZPLAY, instant games offered through the lottery's terminal system (a player-activated EZPLAY option is also available at selected club locatioins). Limited-run raffle games are also offered. The Lottery operates VLTs at racetracks, which began in June 2012.

Lottery proceeds benefit education.

Ohio Lottery Commission
615 W. Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44113
Phone (216) 774-5900


Pari-mutuel facilities

Ohio is home to Thoroughbred and harness racing, with a few days of Quarter Horse racing as well. There are seven commercial tracks and more than 65 county fairs. Off-track betting was legalized in 1994 and the first OTB facility opened in Sandusky in October 1999; it is the only remaining OTB location at the current time.

Dayton Raceway
4701 Wagner Ford Road
Dayton, OH 45416

Miami Valley Gaming
600 SR 63
Lebanon, OH 45036

Mahoning Valley Race Course
777 Hollywood Ave.
Youngstown, OH 44515

Northfield Park
10705 Northfield Road
Northfield, OH 44067

Belterra Park (formerly River Downs)
6301 Kellogg Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45230

Scioto Downs
6000 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43207

Jack Thistledown
21501 Emery Rd.
Cleveland, OH 44128

Ohio State Racing Commission
77 South High St., 18th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6108
Phone (614) 466-2757


Charitable gaming

Ohio allows certain philanthropic and non-profit organizations limited use of gaming as a method of raising funds for charitable purposes. Bingo and instant bingo (pulltabs) are the dominant games. Regulation and oversight is handled by the Attorney General’s Office.

Attorney General - Bingo Licenses
30 E. Broad St., 14th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone (614) 466-3180


Last updated on March 18, 2017