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Hard Rock Casino reopening features guitar smashing, Pete Rose

Rose embraces his gambling past in casino's reopening
Posted at 12:24 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-29 19:40:37-04

CINCINNATI — Pete Rose smashed a guitar, then placed the first bet to celebrate the reopening of the Hard Rock Casino on Friday, Oct. 29.

Rose, singer Drew Lachey, Hard Rock President and CEO Jim Allen and Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart were among celebrities who took part in the ceremonial guitar smashing to open the casino.

"We don't cut ribbons. We smash guitars to usher in a Hard Rock," Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati President George Goldhoff said. "It's much like christening a ship – where you break a bottle of champagne and launch the ship. That's exactly what we do, and we do it in the Hard Rock tradition, like we have at all our venues since 1971."

Rose placed the official first bet at the casino's reopening in a game of blackjack and made 21 as part of the casino's ceremony.

The festivities will also include a performance by Earth, Wind & Fire.

Rose, the former Cincinnati Red whose baseball gambling scandal has him banned from the sport and from the Hall of Fame since retiring as the all-time career hits leader in the MLB, has spent a lot of his time in Las Vegas recently.

The Cincinnati native is also launching a sports betting podcast called Pete Rose's Daily Picks, and told USA Today, "I know how it looks," but defended the choice saying, "It's not gambling. It's handicapping."

The "reopening" of the Hard Rock Casino has been a phased-in process, with new restaurants like the Hard Rock Cafe already open.

Hard Rock bought the former Jack Casino in September of 2019. The property features 1,628 slot machines, 84 table games and 33,000 square feet of dining and meeting space, according to the casino's website.