Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. And, with Monday, May 29 being a federal holiday, Ohioans across the state will be looking to get into some fun for the long weekend.
Ohio casinos and racinos are gearing up for Memorial Day weekend visitors, offering their usual array of wagering activities, from slots and table games to horse racing and sports betting.
Ohio’s four casinos and seven racinos offer more than just gambling, of course, enhancing visitors’ experiences with live entertainment, different dining options, sports broadcasts in the sportsbook spaces, special promos and more.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a dedicated regular, here is a look at some of the happenings at Ohio’s casinos and racinos this Memorial Day weekend.
Live music at Ohio casinos this holiday weekend
Many of Ohio’s casinos and racinos host live musical acts regularly on the weekends, and this holiday weekend is no exception.
Though more of a destination event than a “take a break from gambling” activity, the biggest casino/racino musical event this Memorial Day weekend is Puscifer at the MGM Northfield Park racino just outside of Cleveland on Sunday, May 28 at 8 p.m. The racino’s Center Stage is one of the top theater-sized live entertainment venues in Northwest Ohio, with a robust summer concert calendar.
The artsy hard rock act is fronted by Tool singer Maynard James Keenan, who’s in Ohio all weekend to perform with both Tool and Puscifer at the Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival in Columbus. Tickets for Puscifer’s MGM Northfield Park concert (available via Ticketmaster) are $55-$75.
If you’re at Hollywood Casino Toledo over the weekend, you can catch Bruno Mars tribute act Uptown Funk on Saturday in the casino’s H Lounge. Big band jazz group Swingmania plays the H Lounge on Friday, while rock and pop cover band Velvet Jones performs Sunday. All shows are at 8 p.m.
Hollywood Dayton Gaming Raceway also features live music in its own H Lounge space on the weekends from local acts and DJs. And Hollywood Casino Columbus features weekend live acoustic music by local artists in its Sunset Patio bar space.
At Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, live music this weekend is provided by cover acts Ethan and Joey (Friday) and Naked Karate Girls (Saturday). Music starts at 9 p.m. both nights in the casino’s Hard Rock Cafe space.
Miami Valley Gaming in Warren County features music in its Center Bar on weekends beginning at 9 p.m. Catch Nashville country group the Jason Owens Band on Friday. DJ Big Daddy Walker spins tunes on Saturday.
Belterra Park racino in Cincinnati hosts the eclectic dance band Turned Up on Friday at 8 p.m. in its Stadium Sports Bar & Grill.
JACK Cleveland Casino hosts poker tournament
The series’ No Limit Hold’em Main Event is happening now and runs through Sunday, May 28. The Main Event series has a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool with Day 1 flights running Friday and Saturday. Day 2 begins Sunday at 11:15 a.m. Buy-in is $600.
The tournament series also includes a Ladies Event on Sunday. The series concludes on Monday with a Memorial Day No Limit Hold’em event with a $350 buy-in and $40,000 guaranteed prize pool.
Watch — and bet on — sports
Since legal sports betting in Ohio went live on Jan. 1, all of Ohio’s casinos and racinos now have retail sportsbooks on the premises.
The sportsbook spaces inside casinos and racinos allow for in-person sports betting (at self-serve kiosks and betting windows) and feature numerous TVs where visitors can hang out and watch the latest games to keep track of how their bets are doing … or just take a break from the tables and slots.
This Memorial Day weekend, sporting events include the usual array of MLB games (including Ohio’s Reds and Guardians), MLS matches (the Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati are both in action), WNBA basketball, USFL football, LPGA golf and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600, among other events.
Catch live horse racing all weekend
While we’re in between the second and third legs of the Triple Crown, racing fans can still get their fix at one of Ohio’s seven racetracks. Here’s a look at what the racinos have going on Memorial Day weekend.
- MGM Northfield Park near Cleveland has live harness racing year-round with a 6 p.m. post time. For Memorial Day weekend, the Northfield Park racetrack has races on Saturday and Sunday.
- The 2023 harness racing season at Columbus’ Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs began earlier this month. Scioto Downs has races this Friday and Saturday with a 5:50 p.m. post time.
- Belterra Park in Cincinnati will have live racing Friday and Saturday. Post time is 12:25 p.m.
- Catch live racing JACK Thistledown Racino in North Randall on Monday. Post time is 12:50 p.m.
- It’s offseason for Youngstown’s Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway and Miami Valley Gaming, so no live races. But all three racinos simulcast races every day from across the country during the afternoon and into the early evening.