Leave Feedback

Local school districts benefit from casinos

Andy Ouriel • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:41 PM

It’s illegal for anyone under 21 to gamble in an Ohio casino.

But the youngest people are among the biggest beneficiaries from those legally playing poker, blackjack and roulette.

Area schools in Erie, Huron, Ottawa and Sandusky counties have collectively received about $2.9 million in casino-related taxes since Ohio’s first regulated gaming establishment opened in spring 2012, according to a Register analysis of state data.

The extra income helps partially offset massive state-imposed cuts local school districts have endured in recent times.

“In this day and age of tight budgets, any revenue is always welcomed,” Sandusky Schools board member Jeff Krabill said.

The amount each public school district receives is based on enrollment. The more students enrolled into a district, the larger the share.

Mad money

One-third of a casino’s gross revenue, or total take, helps fund local governments, such as schools. In total, more than $11 billion has been wagered at Ohio’s four casinos since the first one in Cleveland opened almost two years ago.


About $3.72 million has been paid out in taxes, broken out as such:


Here’s how the tax money is divvied out:

• 51 percent: County fund — Money is distributed quarterly from this fund to Ohio’s 88 counties based on population.

The state’s eight largest cities — Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, Dayton, Toledo, Canton and Youngstown — also receive a cut.

• 34 percent: County student fund — Money is distributed to all school districts in Ohio based on student population. The distributions occur twice a year.

• 5 percent: Host city fund — Money goes to cities with casinos, which is Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo

• 3 percent: Ohio Casino Control Commission fund — Money helps pay for Ohio’s governing body overseeing casino operations.

• 3 percent: Ohio State Racing Commission fund 

• 2 percent: Law enforcement training fund

•2 percent: Problem gambling/addiction funds

Source: Ohio Department of Taxation

Recommended for You