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Cleveland Casino Wasn't 'Positioned As A Savior To Downtown', General Manager Says

In August, Property Had Smallest Gaming Revenue Since It Opened


Ohio’s commercial brick-and-mortar casino industry is still in its infancy, as operators are still figuring out how much gaming revenue the market will provide, in addition to what steps can be taken to strengthen or expand their respective gambling businesses.

The Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, owned by Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Rock Gaming, opened in May 2012, and had, up until very recently, been the state’s most lucrative casino. In August, the property reported its smallest gaming revenue total since it opened.

The casino isn’t too worried, though. About 10 days ago, construction began on a pedestrian walkway that will connect the casino’s valet and self-parking garage to the second floor of the casino. Guests will no longer be forced to cross the street to go gamble.

The pedestrian walkway will span 175 feet across Ontario Street and Prospect Avenue.

Card Player had the chance to speak with Marcus Glover, senior V.P. and general manager of Horseshoe Cleveland, to talk about the walkway and the state of gambling in Cleveland.

Brian Pempus: Can you talk about the purpose of building this walkway? Why is it necessary?

Marcus Glover: It was always considered as part of the overall casino development. There was an approval process that didn’t allow us to open it at the same time as the casino. We had always contemplated this, but we respected the process, and now here we are. We are ready to begin construction on the pedestrian bridge that hopefully will allow us to open it during the first part of next year. The way we view the walkway is something that is additive to the casino. It isn’t replacing anything. People could chose the direct entry into the casino, or continue to cross Ontario and Prospect. We believe it will be more complimentary. It adds a convenience factor, as people won’t have to venture out into the elements during the winter months.

BP: Did you have any gamblers who expressed concern about safety crossing the street?

MG: The direct connection would allow them to feel like they are going from their car to the casino, so if that gives an individual an added level of security that’s great. But, more than anything I think it just adds convenience. It’s an efficient direct connection.

BP: The casino revenue for August was down a little bit. Do you think this will help business and turn things around so to speak?

MG: I’m not going to speculate on that, but for the guests that are coming here today and the guests that come here in the future, this will provide optionality.

BP: So, it has been over a year since the casino opened. Do you think demand is still strong for gambling in Cleveland?

MG: Yes, we continue to see tens of thousands of people come through our doors daily. Again, the casino has never been positioned as a savoir to downtown Cleveland. We have always said that what the casino will add is another element or destination in the experience of the city. Before the casino, people would come downtown and not have this option. It is purely another piece of the puzzle for the downtown Cleveland experience.

BP: Now Card Player focuses on poker. Can you talk about how the WSOP-branded poker room has been doing lately at the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland?

MG: The poker room is doing fine and remains strong. We continue to have a lot of followership and a lot of participants come into it daily. The poker room is going very well. We are always looking to see how we can make our poker offerings better. I can’t share with you plans that we have right now, but we are always looking to make the experience more compelling for every guest who comes in here, and poker is a part of what we do. The WSOP brand always keeps poker at the top of the mind for anything our casino does. So, we are always looking to add more attractive games and increase the scope. When we find an opportunity that makes sense for the grand scheme, we will engage.

Tags: Cleveland,   Casino,   Ohio


7 years ago

The poker room is a complete joke. Have traveled the county, played in dozens of card rooms , and have never seen a poorer run establishment . The wsop circuit event is slated to come to Cleveland in March of next year. meanwhile , the casino has absolutely no place to host the event . They have an additional floor to the building that they claim is going to be used , yet
Not one finger has been touched to constructing the floor. The bad best jackpot, which they take thousands of $ to daily , was frozen for many weeks . they claim the money was going into a "promotional account" that they have. Now , they are releasing $500 a day into the BBJ. When asked what that plans are for the hundreds of thousands in that "promotional account" they simply state that "ideas are being spoke". dealers do not keep their own tips at horseshoe CLE, another major issue in the circuit coming to town. cellphones are not aloud to be placed on the rail, the list goes on and on. The new manager is very pleasant , but the isses seem to be bigger then her power. The Casino is concerned with the players loosing their A$$ in baccarat and blackjack , and could care less about the poker room. the fact that they even label themselves as a WSOP room is laughable.