The gaming stakes were raised considerably on July 6th, 2009 in the battle for gaming supremacy in the Tri-State. Penn National Gaming launched its brand new $335 million Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg to replace the Argosy Casino. It is the company's goal to solidify its market share in case the state of Ohio or Kentucky gets gaming in the near future. Ohio voters may evaluate the gaming issue this fall to construct a casino facility in Cincinnati and other major cities in the US.
The state of Kentucky's legislature just dismissed a proposal for video slot machines at horse racing tracks. Other gaming competition is just a few miles away at the Grand Victoria Casino in Rising Sun, Indiana and Belterra in Vevay, Indiana. The horse racing track at Shelbyville, Indiana offers video slot machines. The Hollywood Casino's grand opening was pure entertainment. There were dancers, singers and even Elvis impersonators to entertain the crowd. General Manager Tony Rodio said that the casino project took five years to complete.
Hollywood Casino can accommodate 9,000 visitors-a five thousand person improvement over Argosy casino. There are 4,400 gambling positions in slot machines, casino table games and poker. Sherry Hoog of Liberty, Indiana said that the casino reminds him of the gaming facilities that can be found in Las Vegas. Rodio stated that the Hollywood Casino facility was made for two important reasons. One reason is that they think that they can develop the business because of how successful it has been.
Rodio added that while a Cincinnati casino might affect Hollywood casino's business, he has doubts that it could duplicate the experience at Lawrenceburg. He also added that the new vessel will provide a significant income boost for Penn National Gaming. The City of Lawrenceburg is one of the main investors in the Hollywood project through $50 million worth of tax incentives over the next ten years.
City Manager Tom Steidel said that they expect to earn their investment back aside from the profit for Lawrenceburg and for the state. In the last year of Argosy's gaming operation, it earned a total of $200 million with $165 million for Indiana and the remainder for the City of Lawrenceburg and the surrounding areas. Hollywood Casino officials did not divulge any project on what the new casino facility could do for those figures.
07/20/2009 21:43 PM