Photos from inside the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, downtown Cincinnati. Kareem Elgazzar | WCPO Digital
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Gary Loveman, Caesar's Entertainment Corp. CEO, addressing the annual meeting of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
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Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati overtakes Hollywood as region's top grossing casino

Caesar's Entertainment boss cites loyalty program

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CINCINNATI -- Here’s one way to impress the boss: On the same day that Caesar’s Entertainment Corp. CEO Gary Loveman came to Cincinnati to address local business leaders at Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, the 7-month-old property rose to the top of the local gaming market.

New figures released by the Indiana Gaming Commission Tuesday show Hollywood dipped to $19.3 million in September revenue, about $512,000 below Horseshoe’s monthly take in downtown Cincinnati. It’s the first time since the March opening that Horseshoe’s Cincinnati property leads all casino rivals in the Tri-State.

“That’s a very good competitor and has been serving the area for a long time, had a very big book of business. Very quickly we caught up with ‘em,” Loveman told reporters after speaking to the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s annual meeting. “So I think there’s a lot of interest in Ohio residents supporting their home town place.”

Loveman wasn’t aware of the Indiana numbers at the time of the interview. He predicted Horseshoe would overtake Hollywood “pretty soon” based on recent results.

During the chamber address, Loveman discussed how the urban casino model has helped Caesar’s Entertainment Corp. grow customer loyalties by partnering with hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions in the markets where it operates. He said that gives Horseshoe a big advantage over competitors like Penn National Gaming, parent of the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg.

“They can’t bring you to the London Olympic Games or to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. They can’ t bring you to Cincinnati when your favorite team is playing the Reds… that’s what our system is about.  When we have Boston customers and the Red Sox play the Reds, we want them here at our place in Cincinnati.”

Loveman estimated that Caesar’s Entertainment has between 600,000 and 700,000 Cincinnati area residents in its Total Rewards program. It attracted 2.7 million visitors in its first six months, more than all three casinos in Southeast Indiana combined.

Indiana gaming stats show the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg in September was down 35 percent from a year ago and 11 percent from August. Rising Star Casino and Resort in Rising Sun was down 21 percent from a year ago to $4.8 million. Belterra generate $9.7 million in revenue, down 19 percent from one year ago.

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