Miami Valley Gaming Racino Is Setting A Record Pace In 2023

Written By Brian Cross on July 6, 2023
Miami Valley Gaming Ohio Racino

Among Ohio’s casinos and racinos, the biggest properties in the biggest cities enjoy the most success in terms of revenue. But one racino located halfway between two Ohio cities is climbing the ranks as a revenue leader in the state: Miami Valley Gaming.

Back in March, Ohio casinos and racinos as a whole had their highest-revenue month ever. Each Ohio racino either matched its revenue made in the previous March or made just a little less. That is, except for Miami Valley Gaming.

MVG was the only racino to record a significant year-over-year growth, pushing the overall racino revenue number $2 million higher than last March. Without the growth at MVG, the racino sector would not have set a new record.

In January, Miami Valley Gaming pulled ahead of Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs for the second spot in Ohio’s racino revenue rankings. It has retained its No. 2 rank behind MGM Northfield Park every month this year.

Miami Valley Gaming’s recent success can be credited to its unique market and a series of recent upgrades to the gaming experience.

Unique location makes Miami Valley Gaming a regional destination

Miami Valley Gaming isn’t exactly anchored in one of Ohio’s largest cities, like the other top-earning casinos and racinos. Instead, it benefits from the relatively highly populated region along the highway that connects Cincinnati and Dayton.

Warren County, MVG’s home, has about 240,000 residents. But the racino is located right near the Butler County border. That county has over 390,000 residents. Add in the quick accessibility from Cincinnati’s northern suburbs and Dayton’s southern ‘burbs, and MVG has a large pool of potential customers.

MVG’s nearest racino and casino competitors are each 30 miles away, in northern Dayton and downtown Cincinnati, making Miami Valley Gaming the king of its domain.

Careful, continued expansion paying off for Miami Valley Gaming

Miami Valley Gaming is owned by Churchill Downs, Inc. and Delaware North, which bring a lot of industry experience to the racino. The location is helpful, but MVG has done a lot to become a regional destination spot. For starters, Miami Valley has the largest gaming floor and the most slot machines of any Ohio casino or racino.

The racino was planning a $100 million expansion, including a new hotel, before the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the industry. Plans for the hotel have been postponed, but the rest of the expansion went ahead. MVG management wants to take a thoughtful approach to the new hotel and said they’d wait to see what customers will come to expect in a post-COVID era.

Miami Valley Gaming Retail Sportsbook

In an interview with Butler County’s Journal News, president and general manager Craig Robinson said, “We want to design it for the long term. Do it very well, very right.”

Recent additions included expanding the outdoor temperature-controlled gaming areas to a total of 10,000 square feet, creating a welcoming environment for smokers. Two restaurants were also added.

As a point of comparison, Miami Valley Gaming has more than twice the number of games than Hollywood Dayton and double the amount of games accessible to smokers.

Miami Valley Gaming adds retail sportsbook

Miami Valley Gaming jumped on the sports betting train in January when it opened a retail sportsbook inside its horse racing simulcast room.

Rather than partnering with an established sportsbook brand, Miami Valley Gaming operates its space independently, calling it The Race & Sportsbook. The renovated room includes betting kiosks and other new amenities like TVs and betting kiosks.

The racino took a unique route with its online sportsbook license, partnering with technology company Gamewise but branding its sportsbook app MVGBet Sportsbook.

MVGBet has one of the smallest market footprints among Ohio’s 18 sports betting apps, accounting for 0.2% of the market in April. Still, the online sportsbook has reported $56,415 in revenue this year on just over $3.5 million in betting volume.

More than just slots at MVG

Of course, MVG also offers harness racing and parimutuel betting at its ⅝-mile track, complete with an indoor grandstand. But another draw is the nightlife and entertainment.

Robinson said many people come to MVG to watch games or go to concerts at Center Bar, which features live music every Friday and Saturday night. Outdoor festivals and other event programming also attract visitors in the region.

Miami Valley Gaming has everything the biggest and best racinos have, and it’s right in the backyard of two of Ohio’s larger cities. Its continued expansion has made the racino one of the largest gaming and entertainment destinations in Ohio.

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Brian Cross

Brian Cross contributes sports betting, casino and lottery coverage to PlayOhio and PlayPennsylvania. Brian studied Professional Writing and Journalism at the University of Cincinnati and has been a contributing writer at Cincinnati’s alt-weekly for over 10 years.

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