TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – Toledo's Hollywood Casino will be opening later than the previous April date set by the owners.
The delay is being caused by a lack of background checks that need to be processed before a gaming license can be awarded to the casino. Without a license, the facility cannot begin operations.
The Casino Control Commission met in Columbus on Wednesday, and its consultant asked the board to delay the casino's early April opening and the late March premiere at the Rock Ohio Caesar's Casino in Cleveland.
Toledo attorney Peter Silverman, one of the 7 members of the Casino Control Commission, says the delay in completing background checks needs to be investigated.
The delays involve the background checks of people involved with Penn National and Caesar's, the companies that will run Toledo and Cleveland's casinos. There are 15 individuals who are at a stalemate, and say they aren't connected closely enough to the casinos.
"We want to make sure everybody involved in the casinos are honest and so to do that we require all key employees to go through background checks, all executives, and anybody, any company or a person who has a financial controlling interest in Penn or Ceasar's." says Silverman, adding that he believes the background checks will eventually be completed, and gaming licenses will be approved.
The grand opening could be pushed back to June, eight weeks after the originally chosen date.
Toledo City Councilman George Sarantou told WTOL that the city was expecting to bring in $562,000 dollars in tax revenue from the casino, but the two month delay could cost more than one million dollars.
Sarantou adds that lost revenues won't force layoffs of city workers, and the opening of the casinos in Columbus and Cincinnati will not be affected by the background check delays. Those casinos do not plan to open until late 2012 and 2013.
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