It was a long road getting casino gambling in Ohio, but now with all the long lines, the new Horseshoe casino is all the rage in Cleveland. The key here is that Dan Gilbert did it right. Of course everything starts with the downtown location, which makes the Cleveland casino better than most other casinos located in the middle of nowhere, but Gilbert picked the perfect spot for phase I with the old Higbee building, and the renovation job was incredible. Everything about it is a first-class operation. The poker room is beautiful and it’s always packed. It’s located on the top floor right next to the VIP player’s club.
So with that backdrop it’s not a surprise that the Cleveland casino, along with the one in Toledo, are off to big start. In the first full month in business at Ohio’s two casinos gamblers bet more than $417 million and operators paid out more than $371 million in winnings according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission. The casinos’ share after payouts was more than $46 million, with the Cleveland casino generating $26.1 million and the Toledo casino generating $20.4 million. The law requires that the casinos pay a gross revenue tax of 33 percent split between entities including counties, school districts, the four casino cities, the casino commission and programs for problem gamblers. So Ohioans are definitely benefiting from the successful launch.
It has to help that the Cleveland casino is so close to Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena, so the casino gets even more business after Tribe and Cavs games. Then you have the West 6th Street and East 4th Street bars and restaurants close by as well. After years of problems, downtown Cleveland is having another renaissance.