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Howard Stutz

Caesars sells 20 percent interest in Ohio casinos

27 February 2015

LAS VEGAS -- Caesars Entertainment Corporation on Thursday sold its 20 percent interest in three Ohio casinos to partner Detroit-based Rock Gaming, LLC.

A sale price was not disclosed. The deal was announced by Rock Gaming’s subsidiary, Rock Ohio Ventures. Caesars will continue to manage the properties, which will remain part of the company’s Total Rewards player loyalty program.

The casinos — Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati and the ThistleDown Racino north of Cleveland — are not part of the company’s prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing last month that covered operating unit Caesars Entertainment Operating Co.

The division controls Caesars Palace, Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Reno Casino and Hotel and more than a dozen regional properties. Caesars is trying to reduce the debt attached to CEOC by almost $10 billion.

A Caesars spokesman declined comment. The company has not yet filed a notice of the transaction with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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

With the casinos, the transaction includes ownership in the Ritz-Carlton in Cleveland, the Higbee Building and a controlling interest in Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

“We will continue to provide the same high-quality experience and service guests have come to expect and remain committed to our casino investments and the communities where we operate,” Rock Gaming CEO Matt Cullen said in a statement.

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

Rock Gaming also 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.
Caesars sells 20 percent interest in Ohio casinos is republished from