LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. - Indiana casinos and racinos are bracing for a big hit to their business because of a flashy new casino in downtown Cincinnati.
The new Horseshoe Casino opened its doors Tuesday and conducted tours for the media.
The casino is a $400 million development hoping to attract six million visitors a year with 2,000 slots and 87 table games.
Staffers are still learning the details of mini-baccarat in the Asian gaming room at the casino.
They have hired 1,700 people to work at the facility. Final touches are still being made to make sure the debut is flawless.
The 400,000-square-foot property has the glitz of 200 chandeliers and the goal of providing an atmosphere attractive to customers in Ohio and across the border in Indiana.
"About a billion gaming dollars from Ohioans was going outside to neighboring states," said Jennifer Kulczycki, Horseshoe Casino Communications Director. "All of Ohio's neighbors offer full-service gaming. We think there is a local market. We think people from over the border will check it out and I hope they do."
Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg is 35 miles away from the new casino, and management is paying attention.
General Manager Todd Jones said he expects to lose some customers, but Hollywood is stepping up its game.
"We're spending $5 million overhauling our hotel. We're doing a complete renovation, remodeling food and beverage areas," Jones said. "We are working with the city of Lawrenceburg on the convention center and hotel there to draw a destination-type group down here."
Hollywood is also looking toward the state legislature for relief so it can compete.
The casino will officially open March 4 at 8:30 p.m.
The state senate passed a bill designed to help the casinos. But today speaker of the house brian bosma was less than enthusiastic. He is opposed to removing the ban on land based casinos.
Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas