Cleveland vs Toledo: How Do The Casinos Stack Up?

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CLEVELAND – A few weeks after the opening of the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, the Hollywood Casino in Toledo opened for business on Tuesday afternoon.

Toledo’s casino, located outside the downtown area, has a 125,000 square foot gaming room with 60 table games, an additional 20 live poker tables and up to 2,100 slot machines.  The Hollywood has more square footage than the Horseshoe Cleveland, but the Horseshoe has more slots, gaming tables and live poker tables.

“It's awesome,” said Roslyn Lusane from Akron.  She chose to spend the day Tuesday at the Horseshoe, which is closer to her house.  “I'm tired of trying to find things to do and going far, far, far away from home, when it only took me, like, a half-hour to get here.”

Unlike the Horseshoe inside the Higbee Building, the Hollywood Casino is an all-inclusive facility that was built to house a casino.  It has five restaurants, including a steakhouse, sports grill, lounge with live entertainment and a buffet.  The Horseshoe has a large buffet and a three-outlet food court featuring locally-owned restaurants.

Rick Cassara, the owner of John Q’s Steakhouse in Public Square, is pleased the Cleveland casino operators encourage people to wine and dine in the city.  “There are so many people downtown, there's so much activity downtown -- our business has picked-up as a result of it,” said Cassara.  The weekend of Memorial Day has been traditionally quiet, according to Cassara, who said this past weekend was very busy with people eating dinner either before or after a night at the Horseshoe Cleveland.

“I've heard a lot of people winning a lot of money! They have good food,” said Michael Lewis, from Cleveland, who looks forward to placing some bets close to home.  Kim Koeth, from Lakewood, agrees.  “Keep your money in Cleveland, is what I want to say, instead of going to other cities -- keep it here, it's about time that we got it in Ohio,” said Koeth.

Parking at the Hollywood Casino is free in an adjacent parking lot where the valet price is $5.  At the Horseshoe Cleveland, the self-parking daily max rate before 4 p.m. is $15.   The self-parking nights and weekends rate is $25. (Night rate goes into effect at 4 p.m.)  The special event rate is $35.  Parking is free if you play for 30 minutes and earn 15 tier credits on your Total Rewards card.  Valet parking in the Collection Auto Group Centre is also free for Total Rewards Diamond and Seven Star members.  The valet rate for all other guests is $35.

Combined, the two casinos will employ nearly 3,000 people.  The remaining two casinos in Ohio, the Horseshoe Cincinnati and Hollywood Columbus, are expected to open later this year.

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