A newly released rendering of what Cincinnati's
Horseshoe Casino could look like.
(Cincinnati, Oh.) - Southeast Indiana’s riverboat casinos are finding even more time before they have to compete with a downtown Cincinnati casino.
Rock Gaming has stopped construction on the $400 million Horseshoe Casino as well as a planned casino in Cleveland, citing a battle with Ohio Governor John Kasich over how much in taxes the casino should pay.
With the uncertainty looming over the profitability of the casino, Rock Gaming says it is having trouble securing financing. Construction has been halted as a result.
Rock executives said Wednesday the planned 350,000 square foot casino could be downsized.
The new competition for southeast Indiana’s riverboats had last month pushed back its opening date from late 2012 to sometime in 2013. Now it could be even later.
Hollywood Casino, Lawrenceburg operator Penn National Gaming will manage Ohio casinos in Columbus and Toledo. Penn has threatened legal action over the governor’s tiff in addition to scaling back its projects.
Kasich wants the operators of four casinos in the state to pay more in taxes than is laid out in a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2009. Kasich has said in recent weeks that he wants the operators to pay more on top of the $50 million licensing fee included in the amendment.
Also, the state budget passed last week includes a tax on money wagered before winner payouts are subtracted.
Rock Gaming and Penn have called the new fees both unfair and unconstitutional, saying it will cost them millions each year.