Horseshoe Casino Cleveland Opens; Hollywood Casino Toledo Set to Open May 29th

Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, the first of what will be four commercial casinos in Ohio, officially opened at 9:30pm on Monday, May 14th.  The grand opening ceremony was limited to approximately 5,000 visitors to ensure the comfort of the VIP guests and initial patrons; though the casino reported that it had approximately 11,000 visitors through 8:00pm on Tuesday, May 15th.  Rock Gaming, LLC, a majority partner in the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, has said that it estimates the new casino facility will draw approximately five million visitors per year, or an average of roughly 13,000 per day.  Crowds at the new casino, which boasts 2,100 slot machines, more than 60 tables games and a 30-table poker room, have been large all week and the casino expects an even larger weekend turnout, given the baseball series between the Cleveland Indians and Miami Marlins at Jacobs Field in downtown Cleveland.

On May 29th, the day after Memorial Day, Penn National Gaming will open the Hollywood Casino Toledo, a290,000 square foot facility which will feature a 120,000 square foot gaming floor with more than 2,000 slot machines and 80 table games.  The Hollywood Casino Columbus, another Penn National Gaming property, is slated to open this fall, while the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, which will be majority owned by Rock Gaming, is expected to open in the spring of 2013.

Ohio Lawmakers Delay Compromise on Sweeping Gaming Regulation Bill

Thestatus of House Bill 386, the wide-ranging measure that will revise regulation and oversight of Ohio’s commercial casinos, horse racetracks and lottery operations remains undecided.  The original HB 386 was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives on February 15, 2012, while a Senate substitute for HB 386 passed the Ohio Senate on May 9th.  The senate substitute for HB 386 was roundly defeated by the Ohio House and the measure was then sent to a negotiation committee between the two chambers in an effort to resolve the differences between the two versions of the bill.  A vote was expected by the negotiation committee yesterday, but the bill’s original sponsor, Representative Lou Blessing (R-Cincinnati), has said that he does not expect a vote to be taken until next Tuesday, May 22nd

Themajor areas of disagreement between the competing version of the bill include, among others: (1) the means for distributing commercial casino and horse racing taxes; (2) whether certain games of chance can be held at public festivals; and (3) the means to fund a study on gambling addiction.


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