The state regulators went on to approve Ohio’s first ever casino operator license for the city of Cleveland earlier this week. This set the stage and made way for Taledo’s license to go through the same way the following week to come. Rock Ohio Caesars are the ones that plan on opening their $350 million Horseshoe Casino inside one of the old downtown’s department store building in the middle of May. Without the license, they are not going to be able to move forward as planned. Penn National Gaming Inc. is planning to open their new $320 million Hollywood Casino right on the East Toledo riverfront at the end of May.
This is going to definitely be a building and operating month for these casinos in the area.The Ohio Casino Control Commission approved the Cleveland license for the casino unanimously just hours after the company was able to wire a $50 million license fee to the state coffers. It was then provisionally approved for a separate license for the Rock Ohio Caesars subsidiary and the Horseshoe Management LLC was to be the company that runs the Cleveland casino.
This of course, is pending the confirmation that the firm has indeed wired their $3 million in application and licensing fees to the state. Steve Inger who is the commission consultant for Spectrum Gaming Group LLC praised the positive financial outlook, integrity, and stability of Penn National. He was the one that recommended the issuance of Ohio’s second casino license. "Penn National enjoys a stellar reputation for business integrity among the gaming and business communities," he said. "There are no material issues that surfaced pertaining to Penn National's record of regulatory compliance, its dealings with its vendors and business partners."
He then recommended the issuance of a new license despite any of the red flags that were once again raised about the New York based Fortress Investment Group LLC, who is the ones that own a small piece of Penn. After they went through an unsuccessful fight against the commission on whether some their board members should be required to undergo various background checks as part of the whole licensing process in Penn, Fortress announced earlier in the year that their chief executive officer, Daniel H. Mudd had resigned from his current position.
Mr. Mudd is currently facing fraud allegation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with their prior tenure as the president and chief executive officer of the mortgage company Fannie Mae. "Spectrum is particularly troubled by Fortress' apparent lack of forthrightness and candor in failing to properly and timely apprise the commission of the full details and circumstances pertaining to Mudd's employment status and the ongoing situation with the SEC ...," Mr. Inger said. "We would expect that a public company such as Fortress would be more cognizant of its communication responsibilities in dealing with licensing and regulatory agencies," he said.