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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio regulators granted an operating license Wednesday to a company slated to open the state’s first casino, clearing a major hurdle before doors open in less than two weeks.
The state Casino Control Commission’s decision allows Rock Ohio Caesars to open Horseshoe Casino Cleveland on May 14. The company must still host a controlled opening before then to allow members of the commission to see the casino in action before it officially opens. The controlled opening will be closed to the public and available only to invited guests.
The commission also granted a management license to Horseshoe Management Company LLC, a Cleveland-based company that has been retained to manage the Cleveland casino, as well as one scheduled to open next year in Cincinnati.
The commission’s decision on an operating license follows its review of a lengthy report by a gambling consulting group on Rock Ohio Caesars’ financial stability.
Spectrum Gaming Group’s several hundred page report highlighted billions in debt by Caesars Entertainment Corporation, an internationally known gambling company with a 20 percent stake in Rock Ohio Caesars. It recommended the commission continue to monitor the company.
Spectrum ultimately recommended the commission grant Rock Ohio Caesars an operating license after its financial background of the company as a whole praised the financial health of Rock Ohio Ventures, which has an 80 percent stake in the company.