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CLEVELAND (AP) — Gamblers bet more than $417 million in the first full month in business at Ohio's two casinos, and operators paid out more than $371 million in winnings, the Ohio Casino Control Commission reported Tuesday.
The commission detailed the 89-percent payout in the first report on revenues at the Horseshoe casino that opened May 14 in Cleveland and the Hollywood Toledo casino that opened two weeks later. The casinos' share after payouts was more than $46 million.
In Cleveland, the Horseshoe casino took in $42.9 million at table games in June and $159.6 million at the slots. The casino's share after winning payouts was $26.1 million.
Players in Toledo bet $19.6 million at table games and $195.6 million at slots. The casino's after-payout share was $20.4 million.
For the part of May they were open, the casinos took in a combined $164 million in bets and grossed $18.8 million after payouts.
By law, casinos pay a gross revenue tax of 33 percent split between entities including counties with shares determined by population, school districts with shares by enrollment, the four casino cities, the casino commission and programs for problem gamblers.
Steve Norton, a casino industry veteran now working as a consultant, said the overall revenue numbers should increase as people get used to making the new casinos part of their leisure time routine.
"I would expect it to get better," he said. "You do have some people who are curious about it. What you also have is people getting more and more accustomed to visiting a casino. They like it, it becomes a way to spend their leisure dollars."
Rock Gaming, led by Dan Gilbert, owner of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, developed the Cleveland casino with Caesars Entertainment and is developing the Cincinnati casino.
Penn National Gaming Inc. of Wyomissing, Pa., runs the Toledo casino and is building the Columbus casino.
In response to the revenue report from the state, spokesman Brent Burkhardt said Penn National was pleased with the initial response from guests. He said specific comments would be reserved for the company's quarterly earnings call.
There was no immediate comment from the Cleveland casino operators.
Ohio voters in 2009 approved casino gambling in the four cities. Backers promised new jobs and opponents warned about more gambling addicts.