COLUMBUS -- The Ohio Casino Control Commission has determined that Cleveland's Horseshoe Casino will be the first to open in Ohio. The casino will open the week of May 14.
The commission set Toledo's new Hollywood casino for opening the week of May 28 but said it could not open on Memorial Day.
Commission executive director Matt Schuler says the actual opening dates will be decided later, based on discussions between the casino operators and regulators.
Commission Chairman Jo Ann Davidson called this a difficult decision.
Backers of the Hollywood Casino Toledo had asked for the decision for Ohio's first casino opening to be left to a coin flip. But in the end the commission gave the nod to Cleveland based on some license application delays experienced by a small stakeholder in the Toledo casino.
The commission said it needs two weeks between casino opening dates.
The rookie regulators are learning on the job and need more time to do background checks and believe it's more important to open casinos right than fast.
The dates were set at a commission meeting in Columbus.
Two other casinos in Cincinnati and Columbus will open in 2013.
Ohio voters approved the change to the Ohio constitution to allow the four casinos in 2009.
Horseshoe Casino General Manager Marcus Glover said,"To get the clarity is welcome. We want to be sure we are not just the first, but the best and we do this in the right way."
1300 of 1600 workers have been hired.
Gaming equipment and slot machines will arrive in a couple weeks.
Rock Gaming won two small victories at City Hall Wednesday.
A neon sign on the garage will be permited to be 12 feet higher than code specifies.
And a nearby condemned building Rock tried unsuccessfully to buy was deemed to be in line for city demolition.