NORTHFIELD, Ohio — There is big news in the gambling world, with another new casino coming to Northeast Ohio.
Hard Rock International and Milstein Entertainment announced a joint venture Thursday that calls for the development of the Hard Rock Gaming and Entertainment Facility at Northfield Park.
For more than 50 years, Northfield Park has been a place for the ponies. There has been live harness racing four nights a week, and most recently live simulcast thoroughbred horse racing all year round.
The proposed $275-million project will transform the race track into a world-class casino. Northfield Park Executive Vice President Dave Bianconi called Thursday’s announcement exciting news.
“We are very excited to announce that we have partnered with Hard Rock International to eventually build here,” Bianconi said.
While the new casino will have the popular gambling games, there will be no gambling tables. Bianconi said the proposed casino will have VLTs, or video lottery terminals. The announce project includes more than a casino. Hard Rock International is expected to bring its brand of dining and entertainment.
“There is going to be a world-class restaurant, entertainment venues. Of course Hard Rock is well-known for entertainment and fun, as well as gambling,” Bianconi said.
Northfield Park regulars Ronald Wagner and John Repasi told Fox 8 News that they will welcome the change.
“Sounds good to me. It needs a little entertainment, something else to do besides the horse racing,” Wagner said. “It’ll create a lot of activity. It will create a diversion. It will be somewhere the seniors to go,” Repasi added.
Hard Rock International estimates that the project will generate a thousand construction jobs. It’s believed it will create a thousand new, permanent jobs once the facility is built.
While no name or timetable for the project has been announced, those involved in the Hard Rock/Northfield Park gaming development say it is a sure bet.
“This venue and the job opportunities are going to be things for all of Northeast Ohio,” Bianconi added.