Remember Casinos Have RIGHT to Build, Not Obligation

a promotional photo showing the planned cleveland casino

Photo: handout photo

The Planned Cleveland Casino

Remember that little change to the Ohio Constitution voters approved last fall?  The one that gives two developers the right to build casinos at four locations:  Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo and of course the Arena District in Columbus?

In that long amendment, the key words are – the right to build; they don’t have to build.

The constitution also says other casino developers cannot build- only those two- Dan Gilbert and Penn National.   And if the named developers don’t build, there are no construction jobs, no permanent casino jobs, no casino tax revenues.

Now comes word in The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer that developer Dan Gilbert has quietly pushed back the opening date for the Cleveland Casino.  During last year’s campaign the plan was to open it as early as late 2011.  Now it will open in mid 2013 or later.  Gilbert blames the delay on difficulty buying the land for the casino site.

Penn National, developers of the planned Columbus casino promise if voters approve moving it from The Arena District to the west side of Columbus the casino will be built sooner than it would be in its current location.  But while Penn National owns both sites and it promises to deal the first black-jack cards in 2012, the developer still only has the constitutional right to build, not the obligation.

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  • Chris Columbus

    So are you implying that we shouldn’t be surprised if they never end up building? Should we be outraged? I’m not sure I get it.