Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dan Gilbert on Casino Delay, Sports Wagering

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 9:57 AM


Ohio’s Casino Control Commission has put the brakes on the planned launch of Cleveland’s downtown casino in March, but the boss isn’t worried about the holdup.

"The process overall, considering we got it approved just a little over two years ago, has gone pretty smoothly," Rock Gaming owner Dan Gilbert told Scene last week in an interview at Quicken Loans Arena, adding that he expects his Horseshoe Casino to have its house in order by April 1. "[The delay] is a little disappointing, but we're getting ready. We'll be ready operationally: the building itself, which is coming along, and the staff.”

When the state will be ready remains to be seen. The delay is the result of background checks for prospective employees that are taking longer than expected. The OCCC claims delays were due in part to Top Men at the casino arguing over which employees would have to go through the checks and which wouldn't. Can't be harboring any Danny Oceans on the payroll, after all.

Regardless of who is to blame, it’s Rock that will feel the pinch. The latest guess for opening date has moved from the originally scheduled March 26 to sometime in April or May. Or maybe June. Only the OCCC knows for sure.

“We understand, being the first casino to open in Ohio, all the work that's involved in licensing,” Gilbert says. “It's not just the principals. The laws in Ohio, they're pretty stiff. And they're not just licensing ten guys; there's hundreds and hundreds of people. We'll take that time to make the opening that much smoother."

Asked about the latest in gambling news — New Jersey recently passed a bill legalizing sports betting, and now will fight to have the federal ban overturned so the state law can actually go into effect — Gilbert remained neutral.

"The federal law has to come off first, of course," he said. "Typically, sports gambling, although it's exciting, is not a huge part of casino revenue. Honestly, we didn't really look at it during this process because it was so far off for us, we had so much else to get done. And I've never really fully looked at the pros and cons. Of course, as it evolves, if it happens, we'll have to do more research."

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation