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First year casino revenue falls short of expectations
CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) -- So has the new casino met its financial expectations in its first year?
Odds are that depends on how your expectations are defined. Cincinnati's Horseshoe Casino opened one year ago with a bang and with a line. Thousands of people waited to get in.
Horseshoe Casino has generated 36 million dollars in tax revenues for Cincinnati, its schools, and surrounding suburban counties in Ohio. Not to mention turning a parking lot into a 450-million dollar destination.
1,700 people got jobs here. Tonya Ramsey was an unemployed postal worker before getting hired as a buffet cashier
"Oh it's exciting. When we started here we knew it would be a 24-hour nonstop party and that's what it's been so far," she said.
When the Horseshoe Casino opened a year ago it became big competition for the three casinos in Indiana, in fact it took business away from them. But now all the casinos, the on in Cincinnati and the ones in Indiana, have new competition from racinos.
A combination horse track and slot machine Racino has already opened near Monroe, and the old River Downs in Anderson Township will be reborn as a Racino in May. So the goal is to grow the pie, not just divide it into smaller pieces.
"There's no question that the competition and the ramp up of the competition as quickly as it has come into the market is something that we manage and have understand how to."
Statewide, annual casino revenues are only about half the $1.9 billion projected when Ohio voters approved casinos in 2009. Still, it's a lot more than zero. Especially when some goes into your pocket.
Acting City Manager Scott Stiles says the casino's revenues for Cincinnati should be 8 million dollars in the upcoming fiscal year instead of 10-million as originally projected. Still, they are celebrating one exciting year down here, and there will be free fireworks outside Tuesday at 9 pm. Tuesday, March 4th is the actual anniversary.
One thing which the casino has not led to in its first year is an increase in crime. Before the casino opened, some critics predicted more prostitution and even muggings of people leaving with their winnings.
Broxterman says there were only 73 crimes related to the casino this past year. Mostly minor thefts of things like phones left in cars. That's a very low number considering how many thousands of customers and employees pass through the facility.
Broxterman says the large number of security cameras in and around the casino help.
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