Caesars to play role in Cleveland casino operations

8,000 jobs to be created

COLUMBUS, Ohio -  Rock Gaming LLC and Caesars Entertainment Corp. have entered a joint agreement to develop and operate new casinos in Cincinnati and Cleveland.

The companies announced the venture Wednesday, calling it Rock Ohio Caesars LLC. Detroit-based Rock and Las Vegas-based Caesars say a general manager for each casino is to be named in early 2011.

Rock Ohio Caesars is expected to invest $600 million to develop the Cleveland casino, which will sit between the bank of the Cuyahoga River and Huron Road.

The gaming operation is projected to attract 8 million visitors to downtown Cleveland annually.

More than 8,000 construction and permanent jobs are expected to be created by the development and operation of the casino.

At the request of city and regional leadership, Rock Ohio Caesars is exploring the development of a Phase 1 casino plan in downtown Cleveland's historic Higbee building. If that becomes viable, the venture would expect a late 2011 or early 2012 opening and the creation of up to 1,600 jobs in the initial phase.

Rock Ohio Caesars expects to announce a decision relative to the Higbee project in the next 60 days.

Ohio voters approved casinos for four Ohio cities in November 2009. The others will be in Columbus and Toledo.

Caesars recently changed its name from Harrah's Entertainment Corp.

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