CINCINNATI - Despite long lines and traffic jams, thousands of people flocked to Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Monday night for a glimpse inside the city's first casino.
The grand opening kicked off with a 20-minute fireworks show, which delayed traffic in the area before the casino opened its doors at 8:30 p.m.
"This is a part of the progress that we continue to see in our city from the banks to Fountain Square to Over-the-Rhine right here to the Horseshoe Casino and out a torn a brotherhood we are seeing excitement here in Cincinnati. Are you excited about this for Horseshoe Casino?" asked Mayor Mark Mallory in front of a large crowd.
The casino remained at max capacity for most of Monday evening, but the lines did not deter eager crowds from waiting for their turn.
"It's wonderful. I think it's wonderful, it's beautiful out there," said Debbie Taylor, of Cincinnati's West Side.
In addition to entry for the general public, a VIP area was held where stars like local legend Bootsy Collins, singer Michael Bolton and NFL star Lynn Swann were in attendance.
For those who were not able to park nearby the casino, a free shuttle service was provided at The Banks garage for the grand opening, which remains available until 6 a.m.
"I'm going to Mahogany's and then I'm taking my mother to the casino. Hope to win big," said Pleasant Ridge resident Kim Farmer, who planned to use the free service.
Long lines also filled the inside of the casino where there were traditional slot machines and tables games, including blackjack, roulette, and craps.
A Starbucks, Margaritaville, Bobby's Burger Palace, Jack Binion's Steak and Cafe Italia fill the restaurant area, along with an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Those 9 On Your Side spoke with Monday night were generally impressed by the casino's presentation.
"It's really pretty, it's gorgeous inside, lots of lights, sounds, slot machines, tables were a little hard to find," said attendee Rachel Robinson.
Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati is the Ohio's fourth casino and will be the last of four voter-approved full-service casinos to open in the state in less than one year. Casino owner and developer Rock Ohio Caesars LLC also opened Ohio's first casino, Horseshoe Cleveland, in May.
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