Ohio casinos see 18 percent turnover among workers

CLEVELAND - Employee turnover rates at two of the state's four casinos are about one in three since the casinos opened, according to statistics from the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Overall, close to 18 percent of the 5,739 casino workers hired statewide have either quit or been fired since Ohio's first casino opened in Cleveland in the spring of 2012, The Plain Dealer ( http://bit.ly/17jAWGe ) reported Tuesday.

Out of the more than 1,000 who have left, 722 quit and 305 were fired.

The turnover rate is not unusual or out of line with other states, said Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business magazine.

Hollywood Casino in Toledo, which opened in May 2012, has had a 35 percent turnover rate while Hollywood Casino in Columbus has seen a 30 percent turnover in employees during just under a year of operation. Both casinos are operated by Penn National Gaming Inc.

Those numbers, though, aren't a concern, said Bob Tenenbaum, a spokesman for Wyomissing, Pa.-based Penn National.

"High turnover in the first year of a new facility's operation is not at all unusual particularly in markets where there has never been casinos before," he said.

Some employees drawn by the excitement surrounding the casinos may have a hard time adjusting to night and weekend hours and the atmosphere inside, he said.

A former table games supervisor at Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland said complaints from employees were often centered around work schedules and odd hours at the casinos, which are open around the clock.

"The majority of people who quit, it sounded to me like the biggest problem they had was the hours," Jason Colucci, of Maple Heights, told The Plain Dealer. "I don't think they realized or expected that it would take them away from their families so much."

Cleveland's turnover rate is about 14 percent when transfers to other properties are included.

Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati has had just a 4 percent turnover since opening in March.

In 2009, Ohio voters approved casino gambling at four sites in the state, with backers promising new jobs and a tax windfall for struggling cities and counties.

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