A deal has reportedly been reached between Ohio’s governor and a casino development joint venture that includes Caesars Entertainment Corp. that will provide additional money to the state and restart construction on projects in Cincinnati and Cleveland.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but Ohio media reported Rock Ohio Caesars — a joint venture between Caesars Entertainment and Ohio businessman Dan Gilbert’s Rock Gaming — would pay the state additional license fees.
In 2009 Ohio voters approved four casinos to be located in each of the state’s largest cities, with a $50 million license fee per casino and a 33 percent tax on gaming revenues. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who was elected last year, had been trying to get more money from casino developers. His office did not comment on the new agreement.
Caesars is developing casinos in Cincinnati and Cleveland while Penn National Gaming will build and operate those in Columbus and Toledo.
In a statement, Rock Ohio executive Matt Cullen said “the agreement addresses the issues we raised with a balanced outcome and provides the clarity we need to move forward with our projects as designed.”
Construction had halted on the casinos in Cincinnati and Cleveland but work is expected to resume.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that Penn National initially agreed to the same deal with the governor, but walked away at the last moment.