Ohio Casino Control Commission Grants First Casino Operator’s License

At its meeting on May 2, 2012, the Ohio Casino  Control Commission (“OCCC”) approved the casino operator’s license for Rock Ohio Caesars Cleveland, LLC (“Rock Ohio Caesars”), clearing the way for the opening of the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland on May 14, 2012.  The OCCC also approved the casino management company license for Horseshoe Management Company, LLC, the company that will manage the Cleveland casino facility.  The licensure of these entities followed a detailed suitability review of Rock Ohio Caesars, its executives and the shareholders of Rock Ohio Caesars, including Caesars Entertainment Corporation.

In response to the decision of the OCCC, Horseshoe Casino Cleveland issued the following statement, “[w]e are delighted to accept our gaming operator license from the Ohio Casino Control Commission today, and appreciate the Commission’s confidence and efforts to certify Horseshoe Cleveland as the first casino in the State of Ohio. Our 1,600 new Horseshoe Casino team members are fully prepared to open our doors on May 14, and look forward to celebrating this exciting moment in the heart of downtown Cleveland.

During the May 2ndmeeting, the OCCC also entertained a presentation from Penn National Gaming on the status of its Hollywood Casino Toledo facility, which the company hopes to open on May 29th.  The OCCC is expected to approve the casino operator’s license for this facility at its next public meeting on May 9, 2012.

Ohio Bill Would Expand Charity Poker Rooms to All Ohio Counties

A recent change made in the Ohio senate substitute for House Bill 386, a sweeping measure that would amend casino, horse racing and lottery regulation, extends the ability to operate charity card rooms to all of Ohio’s 88 counties.  Only Cuyahoga County currently operates a charity card room that is available for rent by qualifying nonprofit organizations to hold a charitable gaming event.  This provision has drawn criticism from Ohio Governor John Kasich, and the bill’s original sponsor, state representative Louis Blessing, has voiced concerns that it could cut into the revenues that will be earned by the state’s four new commercial casinos and forthcoming racinos - - which would also lead to a decrease in state wagering tax revenue. 

The senate substitute for H.B. 386 could be voted on by the Ohio Senate as early as next Tuesday. 


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