he joint venture, Rock Ohio Caesars, will be majority owned by Gilbert’s Rock Gaming, and will spend us$ 600 million on a Cleveland casino and us$ 400 million on a Cincinnati property, according to a statement released this week. Las Vegas-based Caesars didn’t specify how much it is investing.
Ohio voters approved in November 2009 a plan to allow a casino in each of the state’s four biggest cities. Penn National Gaming, the operator of 23 casinos and racetracks, is building casinos in Toledo and Columbus, after backing the ballot issue with Gilbert last year. Gilbert is owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association.
The first phase of the downtown Cleveland facility may open by late 2011, according to the statement. The Cincinnati casino will be built on 20 acres of vacant land on the downtown’s northeast side known as Broadway Commons. Penn National plans to open its two casinos in 2012.