Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati

Most people think of drugs or alcohol when they hear the word "addiction." But gambling can be addictive too, especially for those also dealing with drug or alcohol problems. In part four of our series leading up to the Cincinnati Casino opening, WVXU's Tana Weingartner takes a look at gambling addiction.

Gambling addiction. It's the seedy, dark side of Ohio's glitzy new casinos. A reason some used for opposing them.

Sarah Ramsey

The new Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati is expected to attract millions of visitors each year and the majority of them will be driving

So where will all the cars go?  Many will park in the new 2500 space parking structure attached to the casino.  

Ann Thompson / WVXU

You may not realize it but if you go to the new Horseshoe Casino or even walk past it, chances are you will be watched on camera. The casino security staff, state agents and Cincinnati Police officers are partnering to try to keep the Horseshoe safe and prevent theft.

The security office is one of the busiest places at Cincinnati's Horseshoe Casino. Everybody, except for guests, has to check in there first. That means, employees, delivery people, reporters and more. The casino security and surveillance departments watch them long before they get to that office.

Jay Hanselman

Many people have watched as the Broadway Commons was transformed from a parking lot into a $400 million casino complex that is planning to open its doors to the public next Monday.

What they may not have noticed is that the casino project has transformed the long-neglected neighborhood of Pendleton, just across Reading Road from Horseshoe Casino.

Pat Lang Photography / Turfway Park

Turfway Park and Cincinnati's Horseshoe Casino are partnering in an attempt to boost attendance and attract big name race horses to its premier event.

Turfway Marketing Director Jack Gordon says the casino is investing more than $150,000 to bring the Spiral Stakes purse to $550,000.

"When that purse structure goes up at your property, bigger horses - it really gains more popularity out there in the horse industry - go to those races that have the bigger purses," says Gordon.

Jay Hanselman

The Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati is scheduled to open its doors March 4th.  

City officials and others gathered Tuesday morning near the site to celebrate infrastructure improvements near the Downtown location.  

Mayor Mark Mallory said the work is the result of a collaboration between the city, the casino and nearby residents.

“There’s a lot of work that has gone into making sure that this facility fits the community,” Mallory said.  “That the operators of the casino understand what this community is all about and they do.”

Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay is going to open his first Ohio restaurant inside Horseshoe Cincinnati when the casino opens March 4.  This will be the 14th Bobby's Burger Place.  The 3,500 square foot restaurant will be located adjacent to the gaming floor with seating for about 90 people.  

Bobby's Burger Place will join Jack Binion's Steak and Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville as premium dining outlets at the $400 million casino.

Flay opened his first BBP on Long Island in 2008.  He's also the owner and executive chef of Mesa Grill, Bobby Flay Steak and Bar Americain.  

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Cincinnati's new casino continues to hire workers as it heads toward a March 4 opening date.  Horseshoe Cincinnati is looking to fill more than a hundred positions Tuesday for cocktail servers and restaurant hosts.  The casino will employ nearly 1,700 people in various roles.  Human resources director Meaghan Ryan said the hiring effort is going well.

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The Ohio Casino Control Commission says Horseshoe Cincinnati has been granted a public opening date of March Fourth next year.  

The casino will be the last of four voter-approved casinos to open in the state in less than one year.  Construction at the site started in February 2011 and is now in its final stages.  

Casino General Manager Kevin Kline says in a statement efforts to hire and train about 1,700 new workers are on schedule and several hundred slot machines have already been placed on the gaming floor.

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When the Horseshoe Casino opens next spring it will likely have an 80-foot tall sign to attract customers.  

The full City Council is expected to approve the idea next week.  The Budget and Finance Committee Monday approved the sign.  

Council Member Chris Seelbach is supportive.

“I think most reasonable people would say that this sign makes sense,” Seelbach said.  “I don’t know that you can see it from Over The Rhine because of where it is positioned at the casino site and how low it is.”

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