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The Jack Thistledown Racino Cleveland Ohio Opens up with Climate Controlled outdoor Gaming Patio

NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - The JACK Thistledown Racino just outside Cleveland on Wednesday unveiled its first major improvement since 2017, opening a glitzy, 12,000-square-foot outdoor patio that has the comforts of indoor gambling.

The two-story patio, though technically outside with openings on three walls to permit smoking, is completely covered and equipped with a heating system to provide indoor-like warmth on even Cleveland’s coldest days.

About 250 of the racino’s 1,700 slot machines, officially known under state regulations as video lottery terminals, are spaced throughout the patio. There is room to move about 100 more machines into the patio as an option after coronavirus-related spacing restrictions are lifted.

However, General Manager Angela Matthews said JACK officials have learned during the pandemic that many customers appreciate more spacing, and she said that it is something that may continue.
“The goal of this outdoor space is a place that feels comfortable,” Matthews said. “Our intent was to create something for everyone; not just for people who smoke.”
The previous patio, which will remain open, has a low ceiling, a concrete floor and is mainly advertised as the facility’s smoking area. Ohio law prohibits smoking indoors at the racinos and casinos.
The new patio is being branded as the Revel Oak area. Louvers on the walls allow for the free flow of fresh air, circulated with an exhaust system. The room is decorated with handblown chandeliers and custom woodwork. JACK officials declined to disclose the cost of the expansion.
Thistledown’s history dates to 1925 as a race track, and horse racing still takes place there four days a week from April through October.
The racino opened on the grounds in August 2013, owned at the time by Rock Ohio Caesars and managed by Caesars Entertainment. It is now operated by JACK Entertainment, the company until recently run by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.
Racino revenue in February, the last month for which details are available, totaled $13.6 million, up 8.7% from February 2020, according the Ohio Lottery Commission. This is the money kept by the house after paying out winnings.
In 2020, a year that included three months of state-ordered closings, revenue totaled $115.3 million, down from $142.5 million in 2019 ahead of the coronavirus pandemic.