While Casino Booming, Area Business Not Yet Seeing Pay Off
It’s been a month since the new Columbus Hollywood Casino opened its doors.
The majority of business owners who talked to WBNS-10TV said they don't want to base their opinion of the casino impact on just one month, but they say what they've seen so far has been disappointing.
It's no secret the west side has been down on its luck.
But signs on store fronts revealed the excitement business owners have had for their glitzy new neighbor.
"There are many of us that have stuck through it, through thick and thin, so we were pretty excited when the casino was coming,” said Jay Bettin, York Steak House Owner.
Bettin has owned the York Steak House on West Broad since 1989. He said he was betting on a boost in business when the casino opened.
But sales have lacked sizzle.
"Since it's opened, we've been kind of flat. But there again, we realize people want to try maybe the restaurants at the casino, you know, or maybe just afraid to come into the area,” said Bettin.
Some restaurants are even reporting losses since the casino opened.
The owner of George's All American Grill reports about $300 in lost lunch sales each week despite the restaurant being right across the street from the casino.
"I hate to say that. I wish I could say better,” said ownerDawn Mavromatis.
Mavromatis said her customers are mostly regulars who come in for her homemade coneys.
She said despite her current losses, she'll keep hoping she hits the jackpot with increased casino traffic.
"Right now, I know it's new and everyone wants to go see, but we're being patient,” said Mavromatis.
The casino may also be detracting from business at the state's first ‘Racino.’
Scioto Downs started operating video lottery terminals in June.
State reports indicate that gambling increased during the first four months of operation.
But in October, it experienced a steep decline.
Despite the downturn, revenue has not dropped as steadily.
More than $10 million dollars in revenue was reported in gambling at Scioto Downs in October, compared to $13 million in September.