It looks like the two newest casinos in Ohio have not given as much as a boost as was hoped to Penn National revenue, after the company admitted that the two venues – one in Columbus, and one in Toledo – have not been performing as well as they had anticipated in their first few months of operation. There are now plans in place to launch a stronger marketing campaign, which it is hoped will help with the issues that have arisen with the revenue here.
Even though the two new venues share the same winning slot machine games and table games as well as many similar elements when it comes to the other facilities, attendance just has not been as good at the Columbus and Toledo venues as it was for the other venues that they have also opened within the state over the past year. CEO Peter Carlino and President Tim Wilmott acknowledged that this was the case on Thursday during a conference with Wall Street analysts, after the firm announced their fourth quart financial reports.
“Needless to say,” Carlino told analysts, “we would have liked to have had more out of the box (in Ohio), but things are moving along well. Ultimately the properties will be what we think they should be. … We always take the long view, and the long view looks pretty good.” Nevertheless, the executives had to answer a barrage of questions about the slow months which have clearly hit the company’s expected profit margin, and about the way that the Cleveland casino is doing much better. In Columbus, gambling revenue in December had fallen by more than $2 million on what it was during the previous month, despite the fact that it only opened in October. The Toledo venue opened in May, and was not doing much better throughout the last quarter.
Wilmott promises that the company will pursue some more aggressive marketing techniques. “In Central Ohio,” he said, “the primary issue is market penetration and getting in new households. We’ve got to do a better job in introducing this new facility on the west side of town to more and more customers.”