Posted on: November 27, 2023, 10:25h. 

Last updated on: November 27, 2023, 11:54h.

Hollywood Casino Columbus will break ground on its hotel on Tuesday, November 28, following a ceremony at 1 p.m. ET.

Hollywood Casino Columbus Penn Entertainment
A rendering of the forthcoming hotel at Hollywood Casino Columbus. The $100 million project will bring 180 guest rooms to the Ohio casino. (Image: Penn Entertainment)

Penn Entertainment’s Columbus landlord is spending $100 million to bring a 180-room hotel to its Hollywood Casino. The casino opened in 2012, four years after Ohioans passed a statewide ballot referendum that legalized commercial casinos in the state’s four largest cities.

We are thrilled to soon begin construction on a state-of-the-art hotel at Hollywood Casino Columbus,” said Jay Snowden, CEO and president of Penn Entertainment. “Since opening in 2012, our Columbus property has experienced tremendous growth, and the addition of a hotel at Hollywood Casino Columbus will create a true regional destination.”

Hollywood Casino Columbus is the largest of the four casinos, with the other gaming floors in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Toledo. Once the hotel is completed, Hollywood Casino Columbus will be the first casino to have an on-premise hotel.

Casino Becoming Resort

Penn Entertainment’s publicly traded real estate investment trust, Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (GLPI), owns the physical assets of Hollywood Casino Columbus and leases the casino’s operations to its controlling stakeholder.

GLPI charged Penn Entertainment $284.1 million for the managerial rights to Hollywood Columbus and six other casinos this year. The annual rent increases 1.5% a year through 2033.

When GLPI and Penn renegotiated their master lease in October 2022, the landowner agreed to invest up to $225 million to relocate the Hollywood Casino Aurora riverboat in Illinois to a new, land-based facility. The real estate trust also agreed to set aside $350 million for the inland move for Hollywood Casino Joliet, another Illinois riverboat, and to construct new hotels at Hollywood Casino Columbus and M Resort in Nevada.

Along with the 180 guest rooms, GLPI’s $100 million project in Columbus includes meeting space and an additional restaurant. Penn Entertainment didn’t specify a timeline for completion but said the hotel will result in the creation of 100 new permanent positions. Construction is expected to create “hundreds” of temporary jobs.

“We can’t wait to begin hiring new team members and welcoming more visitors from around the region to showcase our new hotel and the excitement of Hollywood Casino Columbus,” said Rick Skinner, vice president and general manager of Hollywood Casino Columbus.

Market Leader

Hollywood Casino Columbus was the top casino in Ohio last year, with gross gaming revenue (GGR) of approximately $263.6 million. That narrowly edged JACK Cleveland at $262.3 million.

The state’s four casinos, with Hard Rock Cincinnati and Hollywood Casino Toledo being the other two properties, combined to win a little more than $1 billion last year, meaning the Columbus casino held a 26.2% market share.

Hollywood Casino Columbus has extended its market stake in 2023. Through September, Ohio casino revenue totaled $763.4 million. The Columbus casino accounted for roughly $204.9 million, or 26.8% of the state casino industry.

Hollywood Columbus offers 1,622 slot machines, 88 table games, and a sportsbook. The sports betting space is undergoing a change from Barstool to ESPN Bet. That’s after Penn folded on its Barstool ownership this summer in favor of entering into a 10-year branding deal with ESPN for its sports betting business.

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