Hard Rock International buys Jack Cincinnati Casino and Turfway Park.
On Friday, Jack Entertainment announced it had signed contracts to sell the Jack Casino in downtown Cincinnati and Turfway Park in Florence to Hard Rock International and VICI Properties for $ 780 million pending regulatory approval.
“We look forward to introducing our unique brand of casino entertainment to Cincinnati,” said Jim Allen, CEO of Hard Rock International.
Hard Rock officials were aware of possible improvements to the property.
Half of their casinos have Hard Rock Cafes – including Hardrock Rocksino (the old Northfield Park racetrack with additional slot machines) in suburban Cleveland until it was sold to MGM late last year.
Hard Rock was also mom on whether or not they were considering building a hotel on the property – 9 out of 11 of their casinos have hotels. Company officials said new property improvements will be announced later this year.
Hard Rock will acquire the casino’s operating assets and rename it Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, while VICI will own the land and real estate assets under the joint purchase.
VICI will also sign a rental agreement with Hard Rock International. Hard Rock International will be responsible for operating both properties.
The casino has annual revenues of $ 197.6 million and employs more than 1,000 people, according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
Jacks Cleveland Casino and Jack Thistledown Racino will not be affected by this transaction, the company said. The transaction is expected to close in late 2019 after approval by federal and state authorities.
The casino is located on 22 acres in the Broadway Commons area of downtown. The property has 100,000 square feet of gaming space with 1,800 slot machines and 100 table games. In addition, the property includes 33,000 square feet of meeting space, six restaurants and two bars.
Opened in 2013, Jack Casino (originally Horseshoe Cincinnati) was one of two hotels owned by Detroit billionaire Dan Gilbert after successfully advocating for the legalization of casino gambling in Ohio in 2009. Gilbert still owns the Cleveland Casino.
Gilbert developed and operated the casino in the early years with Caesars Entertainment. After the Las Vegas-based partner ran into financial difficulties, Gilbert bought it and renamed the Hotel Jack Casino in 2016.
Dan Gilbert’s casinos split from Caesars
Since opening, Jack Casino has surpassed Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg as the No. 1 casino in the region, which controls nearly 25 percent of local gambling revenue.
Even so, the casino’s performance fell short of developers’ original projections of $ 300 million in annual gambling revenue after the region was flooded with other gambling options on three racetracks that Ohio officials authorized to install video slot parlors had been.
In addition to three riverboat casinos in southeast Indiana, Greater Cincinnati recently added Racinos in Belterra Park in the Anderson parish, Miami Valley Gaming in the Turtlecreek parish, and Hollywood Gaming on Dayton Raceway.
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