Is the casino a big gamble for businesses around it? - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Is the casino a big gamble for businesses around it?

Plans for the Cincinnati Horseshoe Casino Plans for the Cincinnati Horseshoe Casino

Many are gambling that the casino will spawn lots of dollars, while others have some logistical concerns. FOX19 takes a look at both sides of the argument.

Construction is underway at all four Ohio casino sites and local promoters say the horseshoe is definitely good for this city.

"Just the construction alone is a sign of great things to come and as it continues I think we will see much more it," says David Ginsberg of Downtown Cincinnati, Inc.

Cincinnati's casino is expected to attract six million visitors a year and generate $517 million in annual gambling revenue. So where will these six million people eat? Sleep?

Ginsberg says right in the heart of the city.

"I think it's an exciting time to be a part of Downtown, and I think there is nothing like actually having dirt moving to let people know that this is real."

Downtown is becoming the place to be with the Banks project  finally opening with new bars, hotels and restaurants, and the Reds and Bengals stadiums right next door.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Mayor Mark Mallory said the casino is yet another asset in the city's arsenal to bring people to Cincinnati.

But when Ohio voters approved the statewide casino issue in 2009, not everyone was crazy about the location at Broadway Commons.  Among those were business owners who would be directly affected by their new neighbor.

When Jenny White renovated a building into the "Boost…for meetings sake" meeting facility three years ago, she didn't anticipate a casino moving across the street. She also didn't realize the impact it would have on her business and its bottom line.

"The parking has been across the street for 50 years and never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the parking going away," said White.

 White says it's important for a meeting facility to have convenient parking for clients. When courthouse parking closed in November, "Boost" lost more than a hundred parking spots. Now she spends about $1200 a month to rent about 40 parking spots. Not ideal but enough to keep her in business, a business that she says isn't used to its capacity.

"We have two meeting spaces so on any given day I could have 70 attendees utilizing both spaces but now I have to turn away business sometimes because I don't have enough parking to accommodate the groups."

But white says she's trying to stay positive, hoping the casino will bring more security, a better streetscape, and slow down traffic. She's also gambling that her business will benefit even though the casino will also offer meeting sites.

"They'll have conferences over there but our specialty is for the smaller groups, the more intimate groups who want to get creative and have a unique meeting experience."

Jenny White says she's in contact with city and casino leaders, hoping to make the development mutually beneficial.

The Horseshoe Casino is scheduled to open in Downtown Cincinnati in late 2012

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