Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati operator remains firmly behind project

Confidence, despite possible delays

CINCINNATI - Leaders of the company that will operate Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati said Tuesday that despite potential construction delays they remain 100 percent behind the $400 million project.

Political considerations in Columbus could move the casino's opening from the planned end of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013.

"You always run into bumps on a project of this size and this is something we're going to work through," said John Payne, Central Division President of Caesar's Entertainment. "Everyone's working hard. There's no one saying we don't want this to happen."

Payne's comments came during the annual meeting of Downtown Cincinnati, Incorporated (DCI) at the Cincinnati Club on Garfield Place.

Caesar's Entertainment and Rock Gaming LLC are building the casino at Broadway Commons and have put construction on a fast track. Site preparation work is well underway.

The potential delay is because Ohio Governor John Kasich wants to review the licensing fee and tax structures that were part of the Casino Amendment voters approved in 2009.

The Governor is close to naming an advisor to help with that effort, but no timetable has been released on when a decision will be made.

That uncertainty is holding up financing for the project and Payne said it may mean delaying the order for structural steel. Developers planned to have the building under roof by winter.

"We're going to continue to work with local officials and state officials to insure that we build this great facility," said Payne.

More than 1,700 workers will be hired for the casino and Payne repeated that at least 90 percent of them will come from Greater Cincinnati.

"In wouldn't be surprised if that number becomes 92 or 93 or 95 percent as we begin to hire over the next 18 months to two years," Payne added.

It's expected that Caesar's Entertainment will work with the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote tourism of the region, just as it does at its 53 other casinos worldwide.


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