Ohio casino regulators to explore financial condition of Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati operator

Caesar's Entertainment to brief casino commission

The Ohio Casino Control Commission will review the financial condition of Caesar’s Entertainment Corp. at its next monthly meeting May 22.

The Las Vegas –based gaming company is a 20 percent owner and manager of Horseshoe Casino properties in Cincinnati and Cleveland. It’s been struggling with a $23 billion debt load and recently announced the closure of a casino in Mississippi. CEO Gary Loveman told Wall Street analysts Wednesday that he is looking for ways to reduce costs in Atlantic City and could close a casino there.

Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati is also looking to cut costs by asking table games employees to “bid” for new schedules in a process that will force some employees into part-time positions with no health benefits.

“Now that we have been operating for a full year, things have leveled out and we have a much clearer picture of our guests’ patterns in playing with us,” said an internal memo obtained by WCPO Reporter Jason Law. “Thus, we need to modify our current table games team schedules to match the business patterns and volumes.”

The Ohio Casino Control Commission has been working for weeks to schedule an update on the financial condition of Caesar’s Entertainment, said Matt Schuler, the commission’s executive director. Caesar's General Counsel Michael Cohen is expected to brief commissioners on recent debt-restructuring moves by the company. Commissioners are likely to explore whether financial problems for the parent company could impact Cincinnati and Cleveland properties.

But Schuler stressed that regulators aren’t worried about the viability of Caesar’s Entertainment.

“I think worry would be the wrong word,” he said. “The commission is always interested. We have an obligation under Ohio law to always consider the financial integrity of all of our licensees.”

WCPO Insiders can hear what experts say about Caesar's debt problems and what it could mean for Ohio's casino industry.

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