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Horseshoe Casino transforming into JACK Casino; ‘no immediate plans’ for Phase II

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Crews Monday night began transforming Cleveland's Horseshoe Casino to the new Jack Casino.

The casino closed its doors at midnight so crews could begin to swap out more than 407,000 new chips along with 31,000 decks of cards and 3,600 dice. Plus, they'll change 200 signs and will install new felt on the gaming tables.

It's all part of the transition of operations from Caesars Entertainment to Rock Gaming.

"It's a lot to do with a 40-hour period," said Mark Tricano, senior vice president of operations for Jack Casino. "It takes a coordinated team. We have operation centers on property that will make sure everybody is doing what they need to do in the right time."

 

The revamp comes as the Cleveland casino makes less money each year. According to figures from the Ohio Casino Control Commission, adjusted gross casino revenue fell from $242.6 million in 2013 to $212.7 million in 2015. It has made $74.3 million in the first four months of 2016.

The falling revenue and market factors led to a drastic shakeup in plans for a $600 million Phase II Casino that was to be built along Huron Road, between Tower City and Canal Road, stretching toward Quicken Loans Arena.

"At this point, there's no immediate plans to develop a casino in that space, and it's really more of a plan for potentially mixed use development," said JACK Entertainment Senior Vice President of Operations Mark Tricano.

When voters approved casino gaming in Cleveland in 2009, the casino at the former Higbee's building was touted as a temporary location until the larger Phase II casino could be completed. As recently as 2013, Dan Glbert, founder of the the Rock Ventures Companies which includes JACK Entertainment, publicly maintained that a second casino would be built.

JACK Entertainment CEO Matt Cullen provided the following statement to Fox 8 News:

“The Rock Ventures Family of Companies is committed to Cleveland for the long term and we are focused on forward-thinking initiatives that will accelerate the Ohio gaming market. So, while the gaming market in northeast Ohio will not support additional capacity at this time, we remain focused on the long-term development of a mixed use project on the Huron Road site that will continue to drive downtown Cleveland as a significant destination. As the gaming market matures, we will reevaluate in the future the potential for adding casino amenities as part of that effort.”

In 2013, Gilbert said development of a Phase II casino would begin within seven years. However, a spokesperson for JACK Entertainment declined to release a timeline of a mixed-use development project Monday.

The new Jack Casino will open Wednesday at 4 p.m.

The casino will also have a new rewards program called ClubJACK. According to the company, patrons using their Caesars Total Rewards cards at the Horseshoe Casino are already earning points under the new system.

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