CINCINNATI — Pete Rose has fully embraced his embattled past, which will be no more evident than when he makes the inaugural table bet at the reopening of Cincinnati's casino.
Rose, 80, will make the first bet as part of the festivities to celebrate the Hard Rock Casino grand opening in place of the Jack Casino brand on Oct. 29, the casino announced Thursday in a press release.
The festivities will also include a performance by Earth, Wind & Fire and a ceremonial guitar smash. Tickets are on sale for the performance at HardRockCasinoCincinnati.com.
“We know our Grand Opening will be a big hit with the Hit King Pete Rose and Earth, Wind & Fire here to celebrate with our guests,” George Goldhoff, president of Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, said in a press release.
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, and others to open before the casino fully celebrates its grand reopening.
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.