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Caesars will no longer manage 3 Ohio casinos

Caesars Entertainment Corp., said Monday it was transitioning the operation of its three Ohio casinos to its partner, which includes removing the Horseshoe names from the properties and separating the casinos from the company’s Total Rewards customer loyalty program.

Caesars said in February it was selling its 20 percent stake in the Horseshoe Cleveland, Horseshoe Cincinnati and the ThistleDown Racetrack casino to Detroit-based Rock Gaming for an undisclosed price. The transaction also included ownership in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Cleveland, the Higbee Building in downtown Cleveland and a controlling interest in Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

Rock Gaming now owns 100 percent of the properties. Caesars continued to manage the gaming aspects of the business after the deal was announced.

“We view this as an opportunity to leverage our unique culture and vast network of companies to grow the business and further connect the casinos to the downtown areas where they reside,” Rock Gaming CEO Matt Cullen said in a statement.

Rock Gaming and Caesars Entertainment formed their joint venture to develop and operate casinos in 2010. The Horseshoe Cleveland opened in May 2012 in the Higbee Building. Horseshoe Cincinnati opened a year later.

Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., CEO John Payne said the company was proud of the impact the casinos had in Ohio, which has four commercial land-based casinos and seven slot machine-only racetrack casinos. Penn National Gaming operates two of the racetrack casinos and the other two commercial casinos in Toledo and Columbus.

“We wish Rock Gaming, and especially our colleagues on the front lines of these properties, continued success,” Payne said in a statement.

Rock Gaming said additional details about the rebranding and new loyalty program will be announced in the coming months.

Caesars and Rock Gaming are partners in the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, which opened last year and was not part of the transaction.

Rock Gaming owns the Greektown Casino in downtown Detroit.

Rock Gaming Chairman Dan Gilbert is also chairman and founder of Quicken Loans Inc. and majority owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Find @howardstutz on Twitter.

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