Scioto Downs Racino
Scioto Downs, or Eldorado Scioto Downs, is a racino in Columbus, Ohio. What first started as a racing track and venue in 1959 has evolved into a multifaceted gambling and entertainment center that draws thousands of visitors. In fact, it became the first Ohio racino in 2012 when it installed video lottery terminals.
The casino is home to over 2,400 VLTs — slot-like machines — scattered around an interior of 117,000 square feet. The games are available around the clock. They also come in various denominations, from penny machines to those where each figurative pull of the lever costs up to $100.
You can also bet on horse races at Scioto Downs — from May to September — and simulcast racing all year long. However, the casino does not offer any electronic or live table games. Regular players can expect various promotions and bonuses, mostly through the Caesars Rewards program.
For further entertainment options, Scioto Downs features four restaurants and bars with varied menus and live shows. To enter the casino and play any of its games, you must be at least 21 years old. As for betting on horse races, you need to be at least 18.
- Address: 6000 South High Street, Columbus
- Phone number: 614-295-4700
- Hours of operation: 24/7
- Gaming available: VLTs, racebook
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The casino at Scioto Downs
Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs is 10 miles from downtown Columbus. With more than 2,400 game machines, it has a lot to offer, and it regularly adds new titles. The casino is a nonsmoking facility, as Ohio state law requires. However, air-conditioned and heated smoking lounges are available on the premises. The casino does not allow electronic cigarettes.
The VLT machines that Scioto Downs casino houses offer a variety of themes, game mechanics, and betting limits. You can find penny and nickel machines, as well as $1, $5, and even $100 game machines in the specially dedicated high-limit area.
Additionally, Scioto Downs allows you to cash in tickets from the Ohio Lottery from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Thursday.
Slot machines and VLTs
Scioto Downs relies solely on VLT machines to provide its games, and these machines live up to the task. They function just like regular slots, but VLTs can involve several players competing for prizes even if they don’t play in front of the same machine. Instead, they’re connected to a specific server, allowing multiple players to vie for prizes.
At Scioto Downs, you can find VLTs with three and five reels and one or multiple paylines. The range of denominations helps make them suitable for players with different bankrolls. When it comes to the most popular game machines/slots at Scioto Downs, here are some of the top options:
- Dancing Drums Prosperity — This is a popular installment of SG Gaming’s famed Dancing Drums series of slots. It shares features such as the free spins bonus, the Fu Baby pick bonus, Reel Ways, and All Up bet structure with its predecessors, but it also comes with some new features, such as reels that expand to up to 7,776 ways to win. The Fu Baby bonus offers two jackpots instead of one.
- Game of Thrones: Winter Is Here — Game of Thrones: Winter Is Here is a branded slot from Aristocrat based on the TV show of the same name. It is a five-by-four slot with plenty of bonus features, such as the Beyond the Wall feature that lets players battle with the white walker army and win progressive cash prizes and multipliers. There are four types of progressive jackpots players can win, and the grand jackpot resets at $250,000.
- Monopoly Money Grab — This is another stupendous slot from SG Gaming based on a famous theme, in this case, the board game Monopoly. It features a five-by-three playing grid packed with dollar bills and other symbols from the original game. There are plenty of bonus features, like the Money Grab, which can bring full stacks of wilds to the reels, along with two free spins bonus games.
Under state gambling laws, racinos cannot offer table games in Ohio, either in electronic or live form. As of this review, the Ohio Lottery Commission had no plans to allow racinos to set up blackjack, roulette, craps, or other table games. Scioto Downs patrons need to be content with the 2,400 VLT machines on the casino floor until something changes.
Scioto Downs poker room
The restrictions that apply to table games at racinos also include poker games. Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio doesn’t have poker tables.
Scioto Downs racebook
This venue has been offering pari-mutuel wagering on harness racing for over 55 years. The Scioto Downs racing schedule features live races from May to September, so those who like to bet on the turf can experience the full aspect of live wagering. In the offseason, simulcast wagering is available daily.
Caesars Rewards loyalty program
The merging of Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment caused many casinos to switch to the celebrated Caesars Rewards loyalty program, including Scioto Downs. Casino patrons who register for the program will start accumulating reward credits and tier credits every time they play slots at Scioto Downs.
Customers can then redeem those credits for free play, complimentary hotel stays, invitations to special events, discounts at restaurants, hotels, and gift shops, access to VIP lounges (when available), and more.
For every $5 that you bet on Scioto Downs’ machines, you will receive one reward credit and one tier credit. Here’s the complete tier structure of the program and the number of points you need to reach each one:
- Gold — starting tier
- Platinum — 5,000 or more tier credits
- Diamond — 15,000 or more tier credits
- Diamond Plus — 25,000 or more tier credits
- Diamond Elite — 75,000 or more tier credits
- Seven Stars — 150,000 or more tier credits
The more you play, the faster you can move up the tiers of the program and gain access to better rewards.
Will Scioto Downs operate a sportsbook?
Following the Ohio Legislature’s approval of House Bill 29 in December 2021, which legalized online and retail sports betting in the state, it is only a matter of time before Ohio casinos and racinos will apply for a license. As far as launching, the state is estimating January 2023 as when legal sports betting is likely to go live.
Considering Caesars’ success in the sports betting arena, it is safe to say that Scioto Downs will probably be among those gambling venues with a full-fledged sportsbook. In fact, it is already promoting the Caesars Sportsbook app for those states where online sports betting is already possible.
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Scioto Downs history and ownership
The venue that currently operates as Eldorado Scioto Downs dates back to 1959, when it opened as a horse racing track. In 2012, it became the first racing track in the state to add VLTs, making it a racino.
In 2003, MTR Gaming Group bought the property for $19 million, and in 2014, MTR merged with Eldorado Holdco LLC to form Eldorado Resorts. The newly founded company saw another merger in 2020 with Caesars Entertainment, which also saw it adopt the Caesars name.
Despite the change of names, Caesars Entertainment decided to leave the name of Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs intact and further improve the racino’s clout in Central Ohio.